National Commission on Minorities Urged by VHP to Declare Sikhism a Separate Faith

August 7, 2005

Source: The Tribune

On August 7, 2005 The Tribune reported, "The Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities and MP, Mr. Tarlochan Singh, in a letter to Mr. Ashok Singhal, working president of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), has urged to give a categorical statement that Sikhism is a separate religion and has a distinct identity. Mr. Tarlochan Singh, in the letter released to ‘The Tribune’ here on Friday pointed out that the Government of India had issued a gazette notification on October 29, 1993, declaring Sikh community as one of the five religious communities in the country. This had formed the basis of the National Human Rights Commission. The commission had been approached by a delegation of the Punjab Rights Forum an NGO dedicated to the protection of Human Rights of Sikhs. The forum had raised the issue that during [a] VHP conclave held recently at Amritsar some of [the] leaders had made public announcement[s] that Sikhs were part of Hindus. The forum had also reported that the VHP had expressed a desire to place photos of Guru Gobind Singh in temples."