Saturday, November 28, 2015

Arvind Kejriwal Serious About Banning ‘Sikh Jokes’

A physical copy of the petition was signed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj 

A petition seeking a ban ‘Sikh jokes’ has received about 40,000 signatures online and off, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal being among those who have supported the cause.

The petition, which was started on at the beginning of the month, had received 20,866 signatures as of Friday evening.

A physical copy of the petition was circulated at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj on Wednesday when Guru Nanak Jayanti was celebrated.

It was there that Mr. Kejriwal signed a hard copy of the petition that wants websites that host jokes at the expense of the Sikh community taken down. After signing, he said: “We should not be making jokes on religious and caste lines.”
With the Aam Aadmi Party planning on contesting elections in Punjab, it can’t be a coincidence that Mr. Kejriwal lent his support to the petition and that his government on Friday decided to give a restricted holiday on the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur on December 16.

Meanwhile, R.P.S. Kohli, who started the petition, said 17,000 to 20,000 people signed the physical copy of the petition at the gurdwara. “We are still in the process of counting the signatures, but we were overwhelmed by the support,” said Mr. Kohli, a businessman from West Delhi.
He said he decided to start the petition after his own experience of being bullied while growing up in Odisha.
“There were very few Sikhs living in Odisha so I was subject to jokes on my religion. Even after moving to Delhi, my sons faced similar jibes,” said Mr.Kohli.

Jokes based on stereotypical exaggerations of the Sikh community should be banned, ask the petitioners. But, more than that, Mr. Kohli said there was a need for an anti-bullying legislation as well as guidelines on how to deal with hate speech.

“Racist humour should be defined as hate speech and there should be appropriate laws to deal with it,” he said.
The Supreme Court is also hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by lawyer Harvinder Chowdhury that seeks a ss0similar ban.

The next hearing of that case will be January 4, when activists and members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee are expected to hand in the petitions.

PS: The Petition had received 21,190 signature till 28th November 2015

No comments: