Family of Birmingham Sikh soldier in turban row hit back at critics

London,UK:- “Thousands of Sikhs have fought and died for the UK. They never gave up their turbans so why can’t a Sikh soldier guard the Queen while wearing his?”

The family of a Birmingham soldier at the centre of a row over his turban have hit back – pointing to the 80,000 Sikhs who died for Britain in the two World Wars.

Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar’s relatives said they could not understand why the Army’s decision to allow the 25-year-old to wear the headdress instead of a bearskin outside Buckingham Palace had caused such disquiet.

They spoke after former members of the Scots Guards complained the spectacle would look “ridiculous” and make a mockery of the regiment’s 180-year tradition of wearing bearskins on ceremonial duties.

Serving soldiers, who are barred from speaking publicly on such issues, were also reported to have reservations about Bhullar’s exemption.

And it was claimed he had suffered taunts from fellow servicemen about his turban and his refusal to cut his hair and beard.

But Bhullar’s uncle, Gurpartap Singh Bhullar, said he was confident the furore would die down once the soldier had gone on parade.

Gurpartap, aged 57, said his nephew was the third generation of his family to join the Army and highlighted the huge sacrifice made by Sikh soldiers in both the First and Second World Wars, with more than 80,000 killed in the conflicts.

“Sikhs are Army-orientated and that goes for our family too. My grandfather fought in the First World War and my father was a gunner in the Second World War,” he said.

“Thousands of Sikhs have fought and died for the UK. They never gave up their turbans so why can’t a Sikh soldier guard the Queen while wearing his?

“A Sikh must always wear his turban. ”

Slough-based Gurpartap said Bhullar, who lives with his wife near Birmingham city centre, gave up a lucrative career as a bricklayer to join the Army.

His company is currently responsible for public duties and guarding the Queen and he is expected to parade outside Buckingham Palace in the next week.

When he does so, Bhullar – who is among a handful of Sikh soldiers in the Army – will become the first member of the Scots Guards not to wear a bearskin in a ceremonial capacity since they were introduced.

He has the backing of the Ministry of Defence, with a spokesman saying the Army took “great pride in its diversity”.

But the decision was attacked by members of the Scots Guards’ regimental association.

David Cuthill, chairman of the Dundee branch, said: “It should be regiment first and religion second. A guardsman is not a guardsman if he’s not wearing his bearskin.”

Source:BirminghamMail

4 comments

  1. looking the the comments made by the gentlemen above, you fail to note two basic points. This young Sikh is sticking to his religion and its principles. he wore a hard hat when carrying certain physically training. This is mandatory under Health and Safety Legislation just as the helmet is when in an operational environment on military duty. The bearskin is NOT a health and safety issue and so any Sikh should NOT compromise and remove his turban, even with a patka. secondly, as Sikhi forbids the un-necessary taking of life, the again Jatinder, but not wearing a bearskin has inadvertently save the life of bear that would have to be slain to have his “ceremonial” bearskin made. As Sikhs we should be rallying behind him for his courage. By the way turban wearing Sikhs have guarded the queen before, they serve in the Signals Regiment and the Army Air Corps.

  2. It is people who have no understanding but claim they have, like above TARNISH the image of Sikhi.To begin with Sikhs are NEVER baptised!A Sikh is initiated into the Khalsa.This person’s use of incorrect words shows his superficial knowledge about Sikhi.Singh should either follow properly or stop making mountains out of molehills, and play it when it suits him.He would be saluted if he did not display his photo with the tin helmet!By displaying that je has shown a tin helmet can be worn over his patka..so what game is he next playing now.He is HIS OWN enemy, he does NOt need any otehrs.Be real and live in real world, instead of make believe world,that only exists in history.

  3. Being baptized myself, it is people like above who bring so much rubbish and tarnish our image. People like him kick other people when they are down. Real message in news is to get mainstream public accept that people with turban is same thing as people without turban.

    If Singh goes with bearskin then still we will have same people cursing.. Oh look he shed his turban just for this job.. Hypocritical !!

  4. I am sorry,I disagree with teh family and tgius soldier.I am a stauch Sikh and I know that includes NOT ever using a baseball cap or any other hat upon my head or over my turban.However, this person used a metal hat over his head and the patka[small turban] during the airborne excercise.So what now stops him using a bearskin?This man did what was convenient for him when it suited him, and now he wants to argue that he cannot use any other type of head covering over his turban.There are just too many these type of hypocritic Sikhs these days, who want their cake and eat it as well.He is a forked tongue’d sikh.That should explain itself what the charcter of this person is.Amen.

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