Gehlot balm to Sikhs, can carry symbols during exams

Jaipur: Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot presented a major relief to the Sikh community on Wednesday when he announced that members of the community appearing for competitive and educational examinations will not be asked to remove their pagdi, kada or kirpan along with other items of religious sentiments. The previous state government had put a ban on carrying any items during examinations and at instances even Mangalsutra of Hindu women were also forcibly removed.

The Sikh community had objected to the BJP government’s move and several representations had met the then Home minister as well, however, it was on Wednesday that their prayers were answered as the Chief Minister made the announcement. Providing yet another reason to be merry, the CM announced that marriages under Sikh community rules could be registered under the Rajasthan Anand Registration Rules, 2019. “The rules have been framed after several talks and approval of respected members of the Sikh community,” Gehlot said.

CM remarked that the state government was working towards establishing Guru Nanak Chair in the Rajasthan University for study and research on Guru Nanak.

Questioning the logic behind the custom of “ghoonghat” in a progressive society, CM Gehlot said a campaign was needed to eradicate it and the participation of men was needed more than the women.

In a male-dominated society, the role of men was important in doing away with such customs that had no logical ground in today’s world,he said.

“The custom of ghoonghat is still prevalent in the society. What is the wisdom in keeping a woman in a veil in a progressive society? We are living in the era of science. The time has come to put an end to this custom, women should come forward but more than women, men should come forward because women have to do this (covering their faces with a veil) due to pressure from men in a male-dominated society,” he said.