Gov't to Allow Sikhs to Wear Discreet "Patka" Rather Than Turban in Schools

September 22, 2004

Source: The Tribune

On September 22, 2004 The Tribune reported, "Taking serious note of the resistance of the Sikh community to the ban on wearing ostentatious religious symbols in public primary and high schools in France, the French government has decided to allow Sikh boys enrolled in these schools to wear discreet ‘patka.’ Ambassador of France to India dominique Girard told TNS here on Wednesday that the Ministry of National Education of France has proposed that the Sikh boys enrolled in these schools wear ‘discreet patka’ instead of turbans or study the same syllabus by correspondence. They can even choose to study in a private school. Mr. Girard said the French government is willing to lend financial support to Sikh boys who are poor and cannot afford to study in a private school. 'There are less than 200 Sikh boys in public schools in France,' he said. The ambassador however clarified that the proposals made by the French government are neither options nor relaxation in the law. 'In France, the law is the law.'"