British school sends Sikh girl home for wearing a Kara

November 14th, 2007 - 8:37 am ICT by admin  
Sarika Singh (14) refused to remove her Kara because she felt that it is “a constant reminder to her to do good”.

She was first refused entry to the school on Monday, and then asked to leave her classes for a fixed period yesterday.

The school’s governors rejected the girl’s request to wear the bangle after examining the uniform policy and human rights legislation in detail.

“It’s very important to me, it constantly reminds me to do good and not to do bad, especially with my hands,” Sarika said.

A spokesman for the Aberdare Girls School in South Wales confirmed that a student had been temporarily excluded for failing to accept the governors ruling.

The school has a strict uniform policy that prevents pupils from wearing any kind of religious symbol.

Muslim girls are not allowed to wear headscarves at the school, and all pupils are prevented from openly displaying their faith.

Despite the rules, Sarika’s mother Sinita said that the family is seeking legal advice to challenge the decision.

Singh said her daughter would happily remove the bangle for wood, metalwork and gym classes, for safety reasons, but Sinita wants Sarika to be allowed to wear the Kara at other times.

The Daily Mail quoted Sinita as saying that local politicians and the Sikh Federation have backed her calls.

Earlier this week, Singh had a meeting with the school and argued her daughter’s case with the board of governors, but they refused to allow her to wear the bangle.

“It’s not jewellery, it’s part of our faith and symbol of our belief. We feel very strongly that Sarika has a right to manifest her religion - she’s not asking for anything big and flashy, she’s not making a big fuss, she just wants a reminder of her religion,” Sinita said.

The Kara is one of the five essential symbols of Sikhism, known as the Panj Kakaars, or five Ks, which are worn at all times by devout Sikhs.

Kara means a link. It is a special steel bracelet, which is worn on the wrist of the right hand. The Kara is the Guru’s own symbolic ring to all his Sikhs signifying their unbreakable link with the Guru as well as among themselves.

The circle is also a symbol of controlling feelings and practice as well as a constant reminder to the Sikh of complete behaviour in the event of weakness. (ANI)

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