P&H HC: Unshorn Hair Basic For Sikh
Dated : 21-02-2009
Source : UNI
The unshorn hair is not only vital but basic for a Sikh and those who do not adhere to this most important ingredient prescribed by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, could not call himself to be a Sikh even if he had adopted four of the total five essential symbols that go with the followers of this religion.
This was submitted by well known senior Supreme Court lawyer K T S Tulsi in the Punjab and Haryana High Court during the resumed hearing on the issue of the definition of a Sikh in the limited context of the importance of hair for a true Sikh.
Appearing for the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) before a full bench, comprising Justices Jagdish Singh Khehar, Jasbir Singh and Ajay Kumar Mittal, now going into the constitutional validity of the definition of the Sikh as contained in the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, Mr Tulsi submitted that the Guru was specific on providing a distinctly different identity to the Sikh so that he was recognisable even in thousands of people, hence the stress on keeping unshorn hair. If this one principle of Kesha (hair) was not adhered to the other four principles were irrelevant, Tulsi argued while arguing that a person not keeping unshorn hair was a Patit (depraved) and hence not a Sikh.
The constitutional validity of the definition of the Sikh has been challenged by Ms Gurleen Kaur who was denied admission under the quota reserved for the Sikhs by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee(SGPC)-controlled Sri Guru Ram Dass Institute of Medical Education and Research, Amritsar on the ground that she plucked her eyebrows.
Anyone who trims beard or cuts hair or plucked eyebrows thereby violates the provision and importance of unshorn hair, was a Patit and not a Sikh, Mr Tulsi reiterated in response to the queries from the Bench.
DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna was present in the court room during the hearing besides some other Sikh scholars including Gurtej Singh, an ex-IAS officer and former professor of Sikhism in SGPC, Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon, Atinder Pal Singh former MP.
The case would now come up for further hearing now on February 27 when Mr Tulsi would conclude his arguments and others too would make their permission.
The Bench also indicated that it is keen to conclude the hearing in the first week of March and to set the controversy at rest so far the crucial role of the unshorn hair is concerned.