NEW DELHI, Apr 21, 2018 : The Sikh Forum on Friday slammed the Supreme
Court’s unprecedented questioning of the Sikh turban, saying it was
the last thing expected from the highest judicial institution of a
country that is constitutionally bound to protect religious freedom
and tenets of all its people.
“It’s not the judiciary’s job to investigate and decide on religious
codes, articles, dresses and tenets. Why is it then dabbling into a
domain that’s deeply entrenched in culture, faith and belief systems?”
wondered Sikh Forum president Pushpindar Singh.
His remarks came in the wake of a Supreme Court bench posing questions
over the relevance of the Sikh turban in response to a petition filed
by a Sikh cyclist refusing to wear a helmet.
“My faith, its tenets are decided by my scriptures, history and my
value systems. They are not to be determined or questioned by judges
whose role, in the first place, is to protect my civil, human and
religious rights in accordance with the basic principles of the Indian
Constitution,” noted Sikh Forum secretary-general Partap Singh.
The Sikh Forum took strong objections to the Supreme Court’s query,
saying it unfortunately reflected a serious deficit of understanding
of religious sensitivities and historical traditions of a country as
rich in diversity as India.
“That was the last thing you would expect from the highest court of a
country where Sikhism was born, a country that had a Sikh prime
minister, a Sikh CJI, two Sikh army and three air-force chiefs and
countless Sikh soldiers who fight the enemy on the frontline with
their proud turbans on,” the Sikh Forum said in a statement.
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