Sikh Body Registers Opposition Against Usage of Helmets
Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee has approached the central government regarding this development.
NEW DELHI: Apex Sikh body raised its opposition towards the proposed new ballistic helmets designed for Sikh soldiers of the country. This is the latest development of the long-running debate of tradition vs safety for the members of the armed forces, especially those posted in unsafe regions of the country.
Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, the apex body for the Sikh community of the county has approached the central government regarding the development. A team of representatives of the organisation met with the head of the National Commission for Minorities to discuss this matter. The delegation included the General Secretary of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Gurcharan Singh Grewal and Member Raghbir Singh Saharan Majra and the meeting was held in the office of the National Commission for Minorities on Friday.
The delegation mentioned that the community will not tolerate any interference with the religious identity of the Sikhs. Since the turban has utmost importance to them, helmets will not be accepted by the Sikh soldiers under any circumstances. They registered a strong opposition before Iqbal Singh Lalpura, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Minorites while adding that there can be no discussion or reasoning regarding this development.
The issue started with the publication of an advertisement for new helmets earlier this year. The Ministry of Defence of the Government of India had published a Request for Proposal aimed at acquiring more than 12000 new helmets for the soldiers. Out of which, the size of 8911 pieces was mentioned to be 'Large' and 3819 to be Extra Large.
Apart from the usual properties, these special helmets are supposed to have a design difference to accommodate the unique hairstyle of the people. These were said to be effective in a temperature range of - 20 degrees to 45 degrees Celcius.