|SIKH SCHOOLCHILDREN WILL NOT BE ASKED TO REMOVE THEIR
TURBANS OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL GATES
February 11th, 2004
“ The law will most certainly be passed but it will only be valid for a year as it will have to be reviewed by parliament again,” he said.
“France never knew so much about the Sikhs as they do now. I
am confident that as
“ We have taken on board all the representations which have been
made by Sikhs globally and we are aware that the Turban is essential
to cover a Sikh’s unshorn hair,” he added.
In a joint memorandum, the delegation said that the single message that has been conveyed in the signature campaign is that the Sikh Turban is a non-negotiable article of faith and identity for the Sikhs.
Mr Girard said that the law was not against any religion.
“It was only by default, that the Sikh Turban has been brought under the remit of the law,” he said.
He said that the French Government was committed to protect total religious freedom and to protect freedom of thought and religious practice.
He further appreciated that for the Sikhs, the Turban was an article of faith and has been caught in this cross debate.
He also put forward his deep feelings, sympathy and his friendship for Sikhs and highlighted the deep and strong relationship between the Sikhs and the French, who in their evolution, had faced wars of religion and massacres, on account of such intolerances.
He was handed a CD with slide shows on “Sikhs In French History” an an Introduction to Sikhism” produced by UNITED SIKHS.
The National Minority Commission chairman, Tirlochan Singh, is due to meet the French External Affairs Minister who arrived in Delhi today.
The delegation which met the French Ambassador comprised Mr. Jaspal Singh , Director – UNITED SIKHS, Mr. Vikramjit Singh Sahney , International President – World Punjabi Organisation , Mr. Prehlad Singh Chandhok , President – Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee , Mr. H.S. Phoolka , Human Rights Lawyer , Lt. Gen. M.S. Bhullar , former QMG – Indian Army .
“ The meeting with the ambassador was very encouraging and succesful,” said Mr Vikramjit Singh Sahney.