Akal Takht, SGPC oppose helmets for Sikh soldiers in Indian Army – Report

Sikh soldiers in Gallipoli in 1915 – Photo / SikhMuseum.com

By Asia Samachar | India |

Akal Takht and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) have opposed an Army’s proposal to introduce ballistic helmets for Sikh soldiers, demanding that the move must be withdrawn, reports Tribune News Service

The report quoted Akal Takht’s officiating Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh as having termed it an “attack on the Sikh identity” and asked the Ministry of Defence, the Centre and the Army to reconsider the proposal as it was against the Sikh “rehat maryada” (tenets).

He claimed the British had also tried to introduce a similar proposal during the World War II, but then Sikh soldiers had rejected it.

“Wearing a cap or a helmet is strictly prohibited in the Sikh ‘maryada’. Turban is not just a piece of cloth, but a crown placed on the heads of the Sikhs by the Guru Sahib. It is a symbol of our identity. Replacing it with a helmet will be seen as an attempt to tarnish the Sikh identity. This cannot be tolerated at any cost,” he was quoted in the report.

The Ministry of Defence has invited a request for proposal (RFP) for 12,730 ballistic helmets for Sikh troops. Out of these, 8,911 should be of large size and 3,819 extra-large size, the report added.

Last year, an Indian global defense and homeland security company said it has designed a ballistic helmet that can be comfortably worn by Sikh soldiers donning their turban. Kanpur-based MKU Ltd announced the Kavro SCH 111 T, or simply called Veer.

MKU has in the past executed India’s largest helmet contract, for 159,000 ballistic helmets, for the Indian Ministry of Defense, according to media reports.

The new helmet offers Level IIIA protection to the entire head of a Sikh soldier from ballistic threats and fragments. It also features the advanced ‘reduced helmet trauma technology’ which provides protection from secondary injuries to the skull due to resulting back face deformation in helmets due to high velocity ballistic impact, according to information at the company’s website.

In another recent development, an Ontario, Canada, based Sikh mother has designed what she says is the first safety certified multisport helmet specifically for turban-bearing kids like hers.


Ballistic helmet for Sikh soldiers now available (Asia Samachar, 1 Sept 2022)

Toronto Sikh mom designs helmet for her boys (Asia Samachar, 7 Jan 2023)

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