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UN intervention sought in ban of Sikh symbols in various countries

The Sikh organization Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) under the leadership of Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the organization's General Secretary, has urged the United Nations Secretary General to pass a specific resolution in the UN General Assembly. The resolution gives special exemption to Sikhs in several countries to wear their characteristic religious symbols. To shore up his point, Sirsa has spotlighted the importance associated with the five articles of faith or religious symbols as prescribed by Sikh Gurus.

"Wearing these articles of faith is a must for every Sikh man and woman. We have observed that problems being faced by Sikhs in different countries is due to laws implemented in the particular country, and the courts of these countries upheld the criminal cases against the Sikhs without any wrongdoing by them because courts are bound to follow the law of the land,” Sirsa said in his letter.

Among a number of symbols a Sikh must follow is the men must wear turbans curled around their heads. It follows that they cannot wear any helmet or cap due to the turban's presence. The Sikh religious tome, the Guru Sahiban, prohibits head wear. The tenets of Sikhism, other than altruism and equality, includes a few rules like never cutting hair, carrying ceremonial steel swords or kirpan, wearing an iron bangle and having a comb at all times in person.

The leader of the Sikh organization is aware these misjudgments are due to the lack of awareness on the part of the said governments. These administrations have no knowledge of the importance of such religious symbols. Sirsa pointed out that the Sikh community members, although fewer in number, has punched above their weight in contributing to their respective countries' economic growth. Members of the community have served selflessly during national disasters and are active in the political sphere. He said that Sikhs are an asset in any place they live and in any society they inhabit. The Guru Sahiban teachings ask them to work for the society's betterment.

The Sikh population all over the world is about 25 million. This makes Sikhism the fifth biggest religion in most countries after Christianity and Islam. Buddhism and Hinduism are the major comparable religions.

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