NSW govt’s new kirpan policy courts controversy | India News – Times of India


AMRITSAR: The new kirpan (one of the five Sikh religious symbols) introduced by the New South Wales (NSW) government in Australia has courted controversy after Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) hailed the policy.
The policy lifts the ban on wearing of the kirpan in schools by baptized Sikh students.
SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur said “it is a matter of great pleasure that the NSW’s education department has allowed the Sikh children studying in schools to wear kirpan”. Without going into the details of the policy she said that kakkars (Sikh religious symbols) were an important and integral part of the lives of initiated Sikhs and the ban on its wearing was intolerable.
On the other hand, Balpreet Singh Boparai, legal counsel, WSO, Canada said on Saturday “The new kirpan policy introduced by the NSW department of education fundamentally alters the nature of the kirpan by requiring it to be no more than 8.5cm (3.34 inches) in length and have no sharp edges or points”.
Notably, a baptized Sikh wears 6-inch kirpan which is an integral part of the 5 K’s of Sikhism and at the time of baptism, every Sikh is taught how to take care of the 5 K’s.
The NSW government had imposed a ban on wearing of kirpan by Sikh students in the schools on May 6, after a 14-year-old baptized Sikh student of Glenwood High School, Sydney, NSW, had stabbed a 16-year-old male student with kirpan twice in his stomach.
According to the NSW government’s department of education’s new policy for kirpan in schools, the Sikh students could wear the miniature kirpan of 8.5cm or smaller with no sharp edges or points, it should be worn under clothes and secured so it cannot be used, the kirpan must be removed and safely stored, or secured against the body when undertaking physical activity such as sport.
Accordingly, the Sikh groups of Oz have given their consent to the new guidelines on wearing kirpan by baptized Sikh school students.
Reacting to the new kirpan policy Tejinder Singh Sidhu, president of WSO, Canada said “The NSW school kirpan policy cannot be accepted by the Sikh community. It is an unreasonable infringement on the rights of the Sikh community. A kirpan without an edge or a tip is no longer a kirpan.





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