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Australia: PM mulls allowing Sikhs to wear turban at work

May 23, 2013 | By

Sydney, Australia (May 23, 2013): It is learnt that the Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia, today promised to look into the issue of allowing Sikhs in Australia to wear the turban while at work and also while riding motorcycles.

Australian PM in Sydney’s Sikh Gurdwara Sahib (Photo Courtsy- Punjab Express)

The Blacktown Sun has quoted her as saying: “We will work with your community to help make the necessary changes requested on cultural and religious grounds”.

Australian PM reportedly said so on May 23, 2013 during a visit to Gurdwara Sahib in the Sydney suburb of Glenwood.

As per media reports she said this during a meeting with office-bearers of the Australian Sikh Association.

The Sikhs also asked Gillard to allow members of their community to wear the six-inch sword, called the kirpan, to official government functions and to differentiate Sikh students from other students in schools.

As per media reports the Gurdwara spokesman Balvinder Singh Chahal drew the attention of PM Gillard to the fact that countries like Canada and Britain already allow Sikh civil engineers to wear the turban instead of the hard hat at work sites and while riding motorcycles.

“I also would like to point out that the Punjabi language and Sikh religion were the fastest growing language and faith group – at the rate of 205 percent from 2006 to 2011, according to recent census” he reportedly said.

The inclusion of Punjabi language and Sikh history in the curriculum of schools, especially in western Sydney, was also sought.

“We also request more liberal entry of international students especially from India to help the country (Australia) to meet its skilled and less skilled labour needs” B.S. Chahal reportedly told Gillard.

Australian PM’s visit to Sikh Gurdwara Sahib is being viewed as a significant event.

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