UK Nose Ring Row: Mayor Defends Indian Worker

September 20, 2007

Author: H S Rao

Source: Rediff India Abroad

Strongly condemning the sacking of a Hindu worker at Heathrow catering service for wearing a nose stud, London [Images] Mayor Ken Livingstone on Wednesday asked the company to reinstate her, saying that wearing the stud is her right to express her religion freely.

In a statement, Livingstone said: "I unreservedly condemn the sacking of Amrit Laljit for wearing a Hindu nose stud. It is an attack on her right to freely express her religion and an attack on her right as a woman to dress as she wishes."

Hundreds of millions of people follow the Hindu religion and it is difficult to imagine a worse way to welcome visitors from the Indian subcontinent to London than sacking a woman for wearing a Hindu nose stud, he said.

The fight for freedom of conscience was fought over many centuries in this country and it is intolerable that people who express their religious faith, whether as Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs or any other faith, should lose their jobs because they wear clothing or jewellery expressing their religion, he pointed out.