Singh Can't Move Sarkozy to Lift Turban Ban

January 26, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Economic Times

The protests by Sikh groups on Friday prompted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up the issue of French ban on turbans with visiting President Nicholas Sarkozy. But Mr Sarkozy politely told Mr Singh that his country has no intention of changing its policy on the matter.

The French president told the prime minister that his country is against use of ostentatious religious symbols in public schools. The French government had said in 2004 that Sikh students could not wear turbans to schools as turbans were religious symbols.

The move has led to large-scale protests among the Sikh community, which argues that wearing a turban is not just a religious symbol but a part of Sikh identity. But the protests have had little impact on France which has steadfastly refused change its policy.