Sikhs Face Discrimination: Boy Asked Not To Wear Turban To School In UP, Air India Pilot Told To Remove Turban In Spain
In two separate incidents of alleged religious discrimination, Sikhs were directed to take off their turbans, a religious requirement with a significant history.
A private school in Uttar Pradesh, objected to a class 10 Sikh student wearing a turban in school, while an Air India pilot was asked to remove his turban at Spain’s Madrid Airport.
Class 10 Boy Asked Not To Wear Turban
In another incident, Navjot, a class 10 student, was directed by the principal of St Mary’s school in Najibabad not to wear a turban to school.
Head of the Shri Guru Singh Sabha, Balbir Singh, claimed that a complaint has been lodged with the sub-divisional magistrate by the community. Further, copies of the complaint were sent to the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee in Amritsar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
“The turban is a part of our identity and our dignity and we cannot stop wearing it. We tried to meet the principal of the school but were not given an appointment. The boy’s parents met the principal who said that the student would not be allowed in if he continues to wear the turban,” News18 quoted Balbir Singh as saying.
Singh further said that if the principal did not withdraw the diktat, the community would start protesting.
Pilot Asked To Remove Turban
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has written a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar alleging that an Air India pilot was recently urged to remove his turban at Spain’s Madrid Airport. They demanded that the matter be taken up at the international level.
According to SAD’s Manjinder Singh Sirsa, he got to know about the incident on November 26 when Captain Simranjeet Singh Gujral, the pilot, called him.
“I wish to share with you the harassment faced by an Air India official, Captain Simranjeet Singh Gujral, at Madrid airport. He was subjected to racial discrimination because of his turban. The Madrid airport officials demanded him to remove his turban and asked for a manual check-up of his turban which is an offence in the eyes of a Sikh,” Sirsa said in the letter.
Madrid airport is notorious for racial discrimination incidents. Last evening, Captain Simran Gujral of Air India was harassed and discriminated because of his turban.
— Manjinder S Sirsa (@mssirsa) November 27, 2019
He further said that the incident happened “despite Captain Gujral clearing the metal detectors”. Sirasa told Jaishankar that this was not the first such incident but on earlier occasions at Madrid airport too, Sikh people were asked to remove their turban.
He requested the foreign minister to raise the issue at the international forum, especially with the Spanish government.
“I request @DrSJaishankar Ji to address the issue at the global level and ensure that Sikhs don’t get mistreated globally because of their turban,” Sirsa added.