Criticising the Chandigarh administration’s decision to make helmets mandatory for Sikh women two-wheeler riders not wearing a turban, the women’s wing chief of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Bibi Jagir Kaur, said wearing a helmet was in “violation” of their religion’s tenets.
Chairing a meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s (SGPC) women members, Kaur said, “When death comes, even a helmet cannot save us.”
Kaur, a former SGPC president and also ex-Bholath MLA, said they would intensify efforts to ensure that the union territory administration revoked the decision. She added that they would call on Punjab governor VP Singh Badnore to raise their demand.
“Wearing a helmet, which is a sort of a top or cap, is a violation of the Sikh code of conduct and tenets. The Sikh who wears a top or cap is considered tankhiya (guilty of religious misconduct). Sikh women cannot wear it at the cost of their maryada, which is supreme for them. So, they should not be forced to do so by implementing this kind of rule,” she added.
Kaur said the exemption given to turban-wearing Sikh women should be extended to all the women of their religion.
“I would like to clarify that if a Sikh woman opts not to wear a turban, she does not turn non-Sikh. It is her will to wear or not wear the turban. All Sikh women with surname ‘Kaur’ should be exempted from wearing the helmet,” she said, adding that Sikhs had already contested legal battles across the world to be permitted to wear religious articles.
After the meeting, women members also met Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, requesting him to take measures to ensure that all Sikh women are exempted.
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