Type to search

Sikh History Timeline

Today in Sikh History – 10th October


10th October

1946 Ishar Singh Mahjaiol moved a resolution, in the Indian house, for the creation of a Sikh State. The resolution was seconded by Sardar Swaran Singh.
1947 The newly formed Indian Government declared Sikhs as criminals. The Governor of Punjab, Chandu Lal Trivedi, issued a circular which was sent to all district magistrates in the State. The circular reads:

"Sikhs as a community are a lawless people and are a menace to the law abiding Hindus in the province. Deputy Commissioners should take special measures against them."

Interesting the circular recognises Sikhs as a distinct group.

-Source. "History of Sikh Struggles, Vol. 1," By Gurmit Singh, Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 1989. pp. 51.

1982 A National Protest was conducted by the UK Sikhs. The procession headed by Sant Baba Puran Singh Ji started from Hyde Park and ended at 10, Downing Street where a petition signed by more than 75000 people protesting against the ruling of Lord denning was presented to the British Prime Minster.

In July 1982, British Appeal Court headed by Lord Denning gave the ruling that "Sikhs are not protected by the Race Relations Act as Sikhs are not a racial group but a distict religious community." The case concerned Park Grove, a private boy’s school in Edgbaston. Mr. Mandla, a devout Sikh and a Birmingham solicitor, applied to send his son there but wanted him to wear the Sikh turban as well as the school uniform. The school declared that it had nothing against Sikhs as such but would not allow them to wear turbans or leave their hair uncut. Mr. Mandla took his son elsewhere, but Commission for Racial Equality brought an action against the school and its headmaster. Birmingham Country Court judge on Dec. 10, 1980 held that the Park Grove Private School, Bristol Road, Birmingham was not guilty of racial discrimination under the Race Relations Act 1976. The appellate court dismissed with costs the appeal against that order. Lord Denning in his judgement observed

"under the Act, it is perfectly lawful to discriminate against groups of people so long as it is not on racial grounds. You can discriminate against the Moonies or Skinheads or any other person to whom you take objection, no matter whether your objection is reasonable or unreasonable."

The judgemenmt caused acute resnetmnet amongst the Sikhs who felt their comparison with Moonies and Skinheads are both insensitive and insulting.

-Source. "History of Sikh Struggles, Vol. 1," By Gurmit Singh, Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, 1989. pp. 69-70.




Leave a Comment