At Vaisakhi Festival, Sikh Leader Calls for Rights to Wear Turban and Kirpan

May 5, 2004

Source: The Mississauga News

On May 5, 2004 The Mississauga News reported, "The High Priest for 20 million Sikhs around the world says Canada should always recognize the legal rights of Sikhs to wear turbans and kirpans (ceremonial swords). Jathedar Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti advocated religious freedom, peace and service to the community Sunday afternoon when he joined 100,000 local Sikhs to celebrate the Vaisakhi festival at the Ontario Khalsa Darbar on Dixie Rd. Vedanti is the chief priest of five at the Golden Temple of Amritsar in India. His religious and political judgments are the final word for all Sikhs, including the 200,000 who live in Ontario. In Mississauga, both the Peel District School Board and Peel Regional Police allow Sikhs to wear turbans and kirpans. In France, however, there is a movement to ban all religious symbols from the school system and that's a cause for concern among Sikhs."