No ballistic helmets for Sikh soldiers, SGPC tells Lalpura


Amritsar, February 3

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has refused to budge on the proposal of introducing ballistic helmets for Sikh soldiers.

A delegation of the SGPC, which attended a meeting to discuss the issue with the National Commission for Minorities chairman, Iqbal Singh Lalpura, today at New Delhi clearly conveyed that no intervention was acceptable when it comes to Sikh identity. The delegation said helmets for Sikh soldiers could not be endorsed.

On the directions of Akal Takht, the SGPC had sent a delegation, including general secretary Gurcharan Singh Garewal, deputy secretary Jaswinder Singh Jassi, member Raghbir Singh Saharanmajra, Delhi-based Sukhwinder Singh Babbar and Ranjit Kaur to attend the meeting held by the commission to deliberate on the issue with Sikh religious intellectuals and officials.

Terming the move as an “attack on the Sikh identity”, the SGPC delegation gave in writing that keeping in view the Sikh history and traditions, the Ministry of Defence should roll back its decision of ‘loh top’ (helmets) instantly as it was against the Sikh rehat maryada (tenets).

Giving references about the World Wars and post-Independence wars when Sikh soldiers fought while sporting turban that was granted by Gurus as Sikh identity, Garewal said, “When wearing any kind of cap is prohibited in Sikh religion, then seldom is there any scope to have discussion on the government’s move to have helmets for Sikh soldiers.”

“At a meeting held by the commission chairman, former Sikh officials and religious personalities were called with an aim to convince us so that this proposal could be implemented without any opposition. We have straightaway rejected it and given them in writing that it could not be accepted under any circumstances,” he said.