Manmohan Singh should impress upon French President to get the ban on wearing turbans in French schools lifted : Sukhbir
INVC, Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal, President Shiromani Akali Dal and Deputy Chief Minister today welcomed the assurance of Australian Prime Minister Mrs. Julia Gillard to the Sikh community for allowing them to wear turban at work places and while driving motorbikes in Australia. He said that repeated efforts of Shiromani Akali Dal that has been pursuing this issue in Australia has started showing positive results. In a statement issued here Mr. Badal said the assurance of Australian Prime Minister was a good sign for the struggle of Shiromani Akali Dal and whole Sikh community for getting their rights of wearing turban in government offices and other working places on foreign lands. Mr. Badal said that this was a positive move of Australian Government for strengthening relations with Sikh community that has been contributing in the economic development of Australia. Asking Union Government to put pressure on French Government also for allowing wearing of turban there same like United States of America, Canada and England, Mr. Badal said that Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh should impress upon French President to get the ban on wearing turbans in French schools lifted. Mr. Badal said that it was amazing that such "discriminatory rules and laws should exist in a country like France which has been the torch-bearer of freedom of conscience as well as of liberal and democratic ethos to large parts of world. These laws give the misleading impression that the Government of the Republic of France is either unaware of or callous towards not only the sacred tenets and practices of the Sikh faith but also the proud liberal legacy and history of their own great nation. Mr. Badal said that "the turban is not just a symbol of cultural faith for the Sikhs but is an inalienable part of the Sikh identity as ordained by our Gurus. Apart from being a holy and unique symbol of the Sikh faith, the turban is also an eternal reminder of the unshakable commitment of the Sikhs to the mission given to them by the Gurus - to stand out with courage against tyranny and to protect the downtrodden against injustice of any kind."The Deputy Chief Minister also said that the Sikhs all over the world were deeply aggrieved over the way the Government of the Republic of France has been dealing with the issue. He asked the Prime Minster to convey "the warm feelings of cordiality in the hearts of all Sikhs for the people of France, who we strongly believe understand and respect the anguish of the Sikh over the issue."