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Indian PM failed to raise Sikh turban issue with visiting French President

February 17, 2013 | By

Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India

New Delhi/ Ludhaina, India/ Punjab (February 17, 2013): “Fussy to prove his secular credentials beyond unreasonable extent India’s first Sikh Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has once again disappointed his community by avoiding to raise the turban issue with the visiting French President H.E Francois Hollande”, a report published by Jago Punjab Jago India (JPJO) has commented on silence of Indian Prime Minister regarding ban on Sikh dastar (Turban) by France.

A Dastar or Turban is considered as an integral part of Sikh identity.

The report that has been published on the name of Kuldeep Mann, reads further: “By doing so Dr Singh, who is in the last leg of second tenure as India’s PM, has perhaps missed last opportunity to do the needful for protecting the pride of turban. Ostensibly so, as French President is unlikely to revisit India during the next one year. Country’s general election is due in April 2014 and even if Congress makes a comeback there is a remote possibility of Dr Singh becoming as next PM”.

“Despite being a devout Sikh Dr Manmohan Singh could not muster up the courage of taking up community’s genuine and democratic right” the report reads furhter.

Turban Ban in France:

* The Ban was proposed in December 2003 and backed by parliament in March 2004.

The Ban Came into effect at start of new school year on 2 September, 2004.

Broadly the ban lays down that “conspicuous” religious items may not be worn in schools.

The banned items include Sikh turbans.

“Had Dr Singh put his secular credentials into doubt by taking up the turban issue? Or had he ended up lowering his merit as a statesman by taking up this genuine community issue?” the report asked, while adding that “Dr Manmohan Singh needs to question this to himself and he should dare make confession of not delivering despite being empowered by the almighty to deliver”.

“After relinquishing charge as PM Dr Singh would live rest of his life with the baggage that he saw Sikhs being deprived off their fundamental right of wearing turban in the France schools and a number of Sikhs being humiliated at European and US airports under the pretext of security check up, but, did nothing” the report reads further.

“Dr Singh must note that it was not a ‘separatist’ demand of Sikhs. His image would not have been tarnished had he taken up the turban issue with France President” it added.

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