Missing turban in Singapore parliament got Asia Samachar readers riled up. Here’s our response.

| Singapore | 14 Sept 2015 | Asia Samachar |
Singapore Parliament. Insert: Turban photos from TurbansDirect.com

Reader Perin Sidhu asked how is the mention of the turban was even a talking point? Fair question. Others have described the article ‘No turbans in next Singapore parliament, Pritam returned‘ (Asia Samachar, 12 Sept 2015) as disgusting, narrow minded, promoting fanaticism, childish and rubbish.

We thank you for the responses. We welcome feedback. We welcome different shades of opinions. Nobody died and made us king! So feel free to agree or disagree with articles, opinions and stuff that appear at the Asia Samachar. You should deploy the same, critical approach when reading stuff anywhere.

Reader Narindar Jaswal states that ‘we should be proud of our fellow brothers, including those shaven or cropped, who practise the Sikh faith and bring honor to the race.’

Manjit Randhawa, who lives in Singapore, suggests that it does not matter whether MP Pritam Singh, who was re-elected to Singapore Parliament in the just-concluded general election, has a turban or not.

And NashDev Singh says: “Not all sikhs with turbans are angels, and not all sikhs without a turban are bad….So what if he doesn’t sport a turban? Does that make him any less of a sikh than you and i?”

We agree with Narindar, Manjit and NashDev. We ran the story because of an achievement by a Sikh – regardless of his physical outlook. On this, we have been consistent. Our record speaks for itself. In the last one month alone, you would have read these stories:

Virandeep to captain Malaysia U19 cricket (19 Aug 2015)

Dashing Nash – big, strong and towering (29 Aug 2015)

Deaf, mute Balwant missing from Serdang hospital (5 Sept 2015)

None of the personalities in the above stories have turbans. But that did not stop us from running the stories. They are Sikhs, and we covered them. They are part and parcel of our Sikh community. Young Virandeep Singh makes the Sikh community in Malaysia and beyond proud with his achievements in thr world of cricket. Likewise, Nashatar Singh Sidhu. And we are glad Balwant Singh is safely back at home.

Reader Perin comments: “Sporting a turban or not donning one does not make you less of a Sikh. Our deeds speak for ourselves more as a Sikh. We should be looking at the work of Pritam Singh and not his appearance. For this matter, we should be proud that a Sikh is doing his part for the community.”

Well said! We agree with your sentiments. You ask how the turban become a ‘talking point’.

Well, turban is an integral part of the Sikh psyche. Scots Guardsmen Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar made news world over in December 2012 when he took part in the changing of the guard at London’s Buckingham Palace. The news value: he was the first soldier in his 180-year-old regiment to swap the traditional. There are many other examples.

In the No turbans in next Singapore parliament, Pritam returned story, we reported the results of the Sikh candidates. Then, we made an observation that there would be no turban-donning MPs this time around. It is a valid observation, in our opinion.

We did not associate the turban to them being better or lesser Sikhs. You be the judge of that, if you want to judge at all.



No turbans in next Singapore parliament, Pritam returned

Sikhs can’t expect ticket in every Singapore polls (Asia Samachar, 4 Sept 2015)

Four Sikhs in Singapore polls 2015 (Asia Samachar, 2 Sept 2015)


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