New Delhi: The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) strongly objected to centre government’s proposal of allowing Sikh soldiers to wear ballistic helmets and said that any kind of interference in the matter of Sikh beliefs, maryada and identity cannot be tolerated.

A meeting has been convened by the National Commission for Minorities Iqbal Singh Lalpura to discuss with Sikh bodies the proposal to make Sikh soldiers wear ballistic helmets.

However, SGPC delegation said that under no circumstances is the helmets on the heads of Sikh soldiers acceptable.

SGPC General Secretary Bhai Gurcharan Singh Grewal, Member Raghbir Singh, Sikh leaders from Delhi Bhai Sukhwinder Singh Babbar, Bibi Ranjit Kaur and SGPC Vice Secretary Jaswinder Singh Jassi, who were part of the delegation, sent by SGPC President Advocate Harjinder Singh Dhami on the directions of Akal Takht Jathedar.

The SGPC delegation rejected the national commission for minorities’ offer to hold discussions with some former Sikh officers and religious personalities with the intention of reaching a consensus on the issue of wearing of ‘helmets and gave their written submissions, saying that when wearing of a hat is prohibited in Sikhism, then there is no question of any discussion on the issue of wearing of iron hat.

Giving examples from history, he said that during the world wars, wars fought for the country after India’s independence, Sikh soldiers never wore helmets. He said the Sikh soldiers always fought the enemy with the turban bestowed on them by the Gurus.

The SGPC delegation submitted a written submission to the National Commission for Minorities and demanded that the Central government immediately withdraw the decision to make Sikh soldiers wear iron hats keeping in mind the Sikh history, tradition and Sikh Maryada.

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