Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Punjab

Proposal to make Sikh soldiers wear ballistic helmets rejected by SGPC, delegation meets NCM Chairman

AMRIK SINGH | February 04, 2023 09:31 AM

AMRITSAR: The delegation of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), in a meeting invited by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) to discuss with the Sikh organizations the proposal of the Ministry of Defence to make the Sikh soldiers wear ballistic helmets, said in clear words that no interference in the matter of Sikh identity and lifestyle will be tolerated. The delegation said therefore, under no helmets can be accepted on the heads of Sikh soldiers.

A delegation of SGPC sent by SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami on the direction of Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib today attended the meeting at the NCM office in New Delhi. The delegation included SGPC general secretary Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal, SGPC member Raghbir Singh Saharan Majra, Sikh leader Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Babbar from Delhi, Bibi Ranjit Kaur and SGPC assistant Jaswinder Singh Jassi. The SGPC delegation registered a strong objection before Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Chairman, NCM, to the Government’s proposal to make Sikh soldiers wear helmets and made a point that there can be no discussion or reasoning on this issue.

The SGPC delegation basically rejected the offer of discussions with some former Sikh army officials and religious personalities proposed with the intention of reaching a consensus on the issue of asking Sikh soldiers to wear helmets by the NCM and gave its written opinion saying that in Sikh faith when wearing a hat is forbidden act, then there is no question of discussion on the matter of wearing helmets. Giving examples from history, the SGPC registered that Sikh soldiers never wore iron or ballistic helmets during world wars, wars fought for the country after India’s independence. They said that the Sikh soldiers always fought the enemy with turbans blessed by the Gurus and defeated the enemies.

The SGPC delegation has submitted a written representation to the NCM and has demanded the Centre government to immediately withdraw the decision to make the Sikh soldiers wear ballistic helmets, keeping in mind the Sikh history, tradition and Sikh Rehat Maryada (Sikh code of conduct).

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