New Delhi: Sikhs members of BJP on Thursday urged their senior leader Sushma Swaraj to raise the issue of ban on turban with French President Francois Hollande. In a letter to Sushma, they said turban was not merely a religious symbol. It was a mandatory article of faith, which very much defines the core identity of a Sikh.
"Hence the turban becomes an inextricable part of a Sikh's appearance and not just a fashionable accoutrement," the letter said.
The UN Human Rights Committee has ruled that France's ban on the wearing of "conspicuous" religious symbols in schools - introduced by a law adopted in March, 2004 - violated a Sikh student's right to manifest his religion, protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the letter written by Sardar RP Singh, BJP national executive member, said.
"In a decision in relation to a complaint made by Bikramjit Singh in 2008, the Committee accepted that the wearing of a turban is regarded as a religious duty for a Sikh and is also tied in with his identity; and that France had not justified the prohibition on the wearing of the turban," the letter said.
The BJP leaders from Sikh community appealed to the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha to request the French President to repeal the law that bans the wearing of turbans in public schools in France.