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The Sikh And The Turban Brand Image
 

The questions are raised with increasing frequency on essentiality of persons with turban, beard etc. to represent the Sikh community in Gurdwras and other forums. The increasing frequency is due to the fact that more and nore persons are not keeping kesh. Non-kashdharis would articulate their not keeping kesh for obvious reasons. The pressure would build up still further in years to come. The reasons are several fold but more significant ones that come to my mind straight away (so it is not the final word but only indicative points):

1.Migration from India and the problem of assimilation in societies where wearing turban creates difficulties.With settling abroad being high on agenda of a vast number of the members of Sikh community, trends with Sikhs abroad get emulated here.It is more so where Sikhs are small in number. Sikhs in Argentina, Bolivia ets have almost in toto become non-turbaned. Marriages with local women accelera ted the process.(Sikhs were buried and not even cremated! Should this become the norm, then?)

2.It is not to deny that non-keeping of kesh with newly-borns is becoming a norm rather than an exception even in Punjab and other parts of India.During and post 1980's,the problem of identification through turban in India as a Sikh created problems for several people. Acceptance into main stream was considered more important and TURBAN, THE VISIBLE SYMBOL,was let go.

3.General questioning of religion and religious symbols with increasing affluence and industrialisation and movement to metros and urban areas and tv prevailence are demanding conformity or following of the latest fashion or trend (even though it may leep vhanging from time to time).

4.General problems associated with being aggressive even for peaceful defence in other words use of "kirpan" etc. is not favourably viewed. It has association with terrorism. There is increasing demand and reliance on following the law of the land (even though justice in several cases is denied or delayed)as an accepted recourse rather than individual or group "sena" for protection of sufferers or as a recourse to injustice however justified. In earlier Mughal times, there was no recourse to justice through law for religious intolerance.The situation is considered different now.....

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