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Wednesday, 5 July, 2000, 19:33 GMT 20:33 UK
Skirt ban in Sikh temples
Young Sikhs
Young Sikhs have been asked to follow traditional values
By Jyotsna Singh in Delhi

The committee which manages Sikh temples in the Indian capital Delhi has banned girls from wearing skirts and jeans inside the temples or gurudwaras.

The ban is part of a new series of guidelines by Delhi Gurudwara Management Committee to reinforce what it says are traditional values in young Sikhs.


Sikh Priest
Some see code of conduct as "Talebanisation" of Sikhism
Priests in most Delhi gurudwaras have already begun asking young Sikhs to follow the traditional values of their faith.

Dress code

Young Sikh girls are being asked to wear only the traditional Punjabi outfit, the shalwar kameez, to gurudwaras.

Boys over the age of 14 have been asked to cover their head with turbans, instead of caps and handkerchiefs.

The general secretary of the management committee, Kulmohan Singh, says the move is essential to maintain the decorum and sanctity of gurudwaras.

But sections within the Sikh community are opposing the move.

They say enforcing a strict code of conduct on Sikhs is a move similar to the Taleban's approach to Islam in Afghanistan.

However, attempts to safeguard Sikhism are not limited to the dress code only.


Daler Mehandi
Daler Mehandi has been accused of mocking Sikhism
The youth wing of the prominent Akali Dal group in Delhi has come up with its own set of guidelines.

Ban pop video

These include demanding a ban on the latest pop video of Sikh singer Daler Mehandi.

The group says the video makes a mockery of young Sikh children and is an insult to their religion.

The song, Ek Dana, is already a chartbuster.

The Sikh committee says it has written to Mr Mehandi and his company and will wait until 15 July for their response.

But a debate has already started within the Sikh community, as to how rigid the restrictions upon followers can be.

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See also:

14 Mar 00 | South Asia
Sikh row hots up
29 Mar 00 | South Asia
Sikh head priest sacked
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