SAD urges Chandigarh to rollback helmet notification

SAD urges Chandigarh to rollback helmet notification

Cheema argued that Sikh tenets forbid wearing any cap or helmet. (PTI File Photo)

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday urged the UT Chandigarh Administration to rollback its July 6 notification wherein helmets have been made compulsory for all women, except turbaned Sikh women.

Claiming that the Chandigarh administration's move has deeply hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikh community, SAD's senior vice president and spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said, "The Union Territory has absolutely no right to define or redefine the identity of a Sikh woman or to determine who is a Sikh woman in the eyes of law."

He argued that Sikh tenets forbid wearing any cap or helmet.

"According to the tenets of Sikh religion, it is not necessary for a Sikh woman to wear a turban. This is entirely her choice. In Sikhism, a turban is compulsory only for men.

"Almost 99.99 per cent of Sikh women cover their heads with 'dupattas'. The exemption to Sikh women from wearing a helmet is applicable to all of them. But under the new notification, Sikh women have been denied their rights," he said.

According to a release by the SAD, Cheema said, "Their (Chandigarh administration's) action in this regard is absolutely dictatorial, ill-conceived and thoughtless. How can the UT administration assume the right to change the definition of a Sikh woman which has been well laid out in the 'Sikh Rehat Maryada'(tenets)?"

The former minister said the SAD would take up the issue with the UT Chandigarh Administration and request them to withdraw the notification.

"If needed, the party delegation will meet the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister as well as National Commission for Minorities on this extremely sensitive religious issue," Cheema said.

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