Sikh Leader Appeals to UN: Treat Sikhs as Religious and Cultural Minority

February 5, 2004

Source: The Times of India

On February 5, 2004 The Times of India reported, "Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Gurcharan Singh Tohra has made an appeal to United Nations (UN) secretary general Kofi A Annan to issue an advisory note to all countries, especially France, to treat Sikhs as religious and cultural minority and to give them all facilities guaranteed under the UN declarations to protect their religious beliefs. Tohra, in a letter to UN’s secretary general, a copy of which was released to the media on Wednesday, gave reference to an declaration adopted by the general assembly of the UN on November 25, 1981, on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discriminations based on religion or belief. Tohra claimed that despite the above declaration, Sikhs in many countries were facing discrimination in employment, education and in places of social interaction because of their practice of wearing a turban and maintaining unshorn hair."