EU Leaders Promise to Take Up Turban Issue With France

April 22, 2006

Source: Rediff

Wire Service: PTI

On April 22, 2006 the Press Trust of India reported, "A visiting European Union team Friday promised the Sikh community that it would try to impress upon France the 'cultural' sentiments attached with the turban and ask them to lift the ban on wearing it in schools. A nine-member Parliamentary delegation led by Ludhiana-born EU legislator Neena Gill had met community leaders in Amritsar earlier and had conveyed that they would try to arrange a meeting of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee chairman with the French ministers. 'We understand why Sikhs feel strongly about the ban on the turban in France. We promised the Prabhandak committee that we will assist them to tackle the issue,' Gill told reporters in New Delhi after returning from their visit from Punjab. Gill said the delegation would try to raise the issue in the EU Chamber while adopting other strategy to help French authorities understand that the 'for Sikhs, turban is more cultural than religious'. Another legislator Jim Nicholson said they believed that 'France will listen to common sense' even though EU cannot dictate terms to that country."