Shiromani Akali Dal President and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday sought the intervention of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid on proposed legislation to ban Sikhs residing in Quebec province of Canada, from wearing Turban and Kirpan.
Badal said that Indian government should hold talks with Canadian Counterparts on the issue as it is imperative to safeguard the rights and interests of Sikhs.
“It is unfortunate that the Quebec assembly is deliberately bringing an ordinance to impose ban on wearing Turban and Kirpan by Sikhs, and head gear by Muslims and Jews at public places, schools, colleges and religious places to target minorities which cannot be accepted at any cost,” Badal said.
The SAD President said that this move of Quebec State was extremely against the religious rights of Sikhs in that country where in many provinces the Sikhs are in majority and their mother tongue Punjabi has been awarded with the status of second language.
Badal said that a delegation of SAD MPs will soon call on Prime Minister and Union Minister for External Affairs in this regard
“Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is himself a Sikh, should strongly take up this issue with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper, who recently visited Punjab and paid obeisance at Sri Anandpur Sahib,” Badal said, adding that Harper was well-aware about the rich cultural and religious heritage of Sikhs and the Shiromani Akali Dal will also write to Punjabi MPs in Canada to bring the issue in the knowledge of Harper.
Badal said that Quebec‘s move was chain reaction of failure of Congress led UPA government in forcing French Government to lift bar on Sikh students with Turban in French schools. He said that Shiromani Akali Dal had requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to raise this issue strongly during the visit French President to India.
“It is surprising that what to talk of forcing French Government to revoke undemocratic decision, Indian Government rewarded French Government with multi billion Defence orders. The intention of French population dominated Quebec assembly was to replicate the decision of France after watching the complete failure of Indian Government on this issue,” Badal added.
He added that Shiromani Akali Dal will soon organize a protest opposite Canadian Consulate opposing this proposal and handover a memorandum to Canadian Ambassador.