Booklet on Sikhs aims to promote racial harmony

May 15th, 2008 - 5:50 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) Strongly condemning an incident in the US earlier this month when an American student set a Sikh teenager’s `patka’ (small turban) on fire, the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (DSGPC) is publishing a booklet to generate awareness about the Sikh way of life there. “We were absolutely shocked when we came to know about this incident. But this is not the only case. Sporadic cases like these keep happening abroad,” Paramjit Singh Sarna of DSGPC told IANS.

“We will be issuing an advisory to the Sikh community in the US, Britain and other European countries as to how such incidents can be prevented. Also, by next week we will come out with a four-page booklet which will make people aware about the Sikh religion and their way of life,” said Sarna.

“We are also in talks with the Gurudwara Committee in the US and asking their recommendation in preventing such incidents,” said Sarna.

The incident which triggered strong reaction here took place May 5 in New Jersey. During a school fire drill, an American student used a lighter to set off a Sikh teenager’s patka on fire.

The fire was, however, immediately doused and the teenager escaped physical injury.

“No mother should have to worry that her child could be hurt at school because of the way he looks,” said Sukhjot Kaur, the teenager’s mother.

Reacting to the incident, the Sikh community here said that such incidents call for immediate action in order to stop such cases of racial discrimination.

“Every now and then we keep hearing cases of racial discrimination in the US. This is simply outrageous. The officials there should sensitise the community and try and promote more religious harmony,” said Alka Kaur, a public relations executive in Delhi.

Amit Singh, a businessman, said the culprits involved in such incidents should be severely punished so that it is never repeated.

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