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Supreme Court Seeks Suggestions to Put Ban on Jokes Ridiculing Sikh Community

PressReleasePing - July 26, 2017 -Since many years, Santa-Banta jokes have been ridiculing the Sikh community and showing them in a bad light. They’re no more about healthy humour. Such jokes are a kind of attack on the dignity of Sikh community and violate their right to equality with fellow citizens. You can hardly deny the fact, that we all still crack joke on 12 o’ clock to make fun of Sikhs without quite knowing what it’s about. It’s a long story of brave Sikh warriors, so it’s hard to write everything here about their majesty and their heroism. During the 17th Century, when India was ruled by Mughals, Hindus were greatly humiliated. That time, the ninth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji came forward, fought against this cruelty and even sacrificed his life for the protection of Hindu religion. Yes, he laid down his life while fighting for the respect of another religion. Can anybody do this? Then back in 1739, when Nadir Shah, king of Persia invaded Delhi, looted a lot of Indian treasures, kidnapped Hindu women, it was only Sardar Jassa Singh, the Commander of Sikh army, who intervened and attacked Nadir Shah army at midnight, 12 o'clock, and rescued women along with the treasure. The army of Mughals was in hundreds of thousands while Sikh army was very few in numbers. Regardless of this fact, brave hearted Sikh army restored the dignity of India by saving Hindus from the oppression of Muslim extremists. Otherwise, Indian women would have been dishonored and taken into exile. After this, one of the most terrible wars in Indian history, whenever similar kind of incident happened, people contacted the Sikh army for their help and Sikhs used to attack raiders at midnight. They did it because they were few in numbers and could use the darkness to their advantage. So, it became the known fact that at midnight it’s really difficult to fight against Sikhs as the Sikhs mastered the art of fighting at midnight. And therefore, the 12 o’clock joke was born. But, rather than being grateful for their brave act and heroism, some people blindly say that except at night, it’s useless to expect help from them. Sikhs are in their senses only at the time of night. So, Sikhs will naturally feel infuriated with the disregard and #badjoke targeting their religion.     However, this doesn’t end here. Everybody is familiar with those Santa Banta jokes that portray a random Sardarji as a naive, foolish and dimwit. While many found it funny, did anyone ever thought how the subject of these racial jokes might feel? Ok, while laughing at yourself once in a while is a healthy habit, but stereotyping an entire community as low intellect or unintelligent doesn’t sound like a great idea at all. Especially, in a land where religious sentiments are easily hurt. Because of these jokes, Sikhs are facing ridicule in foreign countries as well. Even school going children feels humiliating because of these jokes. They feel bullied by others and their innocent minds cannot decipher why their clan has become a synonym of such foolishness. It’s a high time to banish such insulting jokes. This is why Supreme Court has recently decided to look into the matter with due seriousness. Filed by Harvinder Chowdhury in his PIL, this petition requests the court to issue an order to ban jokes on Sikhs on the internet so as to save their community from the racial slur. SC in its recent judgment has asked Sikh bodies to come out with suggestions as to what could be done to ban Santa-Banta jokes within 6 weeks. Later, a high power committee has already been constituted under Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee to provide possible solutions. In a meanwhile, a song highlighting this issue has rolled over the Internet. This Punjabi song named ‘Bad Joke’ is sung by a young singer Sehaj to put emphasis on the need of ban on insulting jokes that amount to racial abuse and hurt religious sentiments of Sikhs. Sehaj at such a young age of 17 has stood up for the cause and really carved an unconventional message on such a sensitive issue. Unlike other singers who are busy in minting money, he is the first to come up with a song seeking a ban on jokes ridiculing Sikh community. This song has already become a huge hit. Because it’s one of the unique and catchiest songs that will worm its way into your ear and remain lodged in your head for a long time. It’s hard to forget the kind of the song / video. It is an insanely touching song that you will randomly find yourself humming. After hearing this song, you’re sure to stand up for a cause that is related to someone’s religious sentiments. As the Supreme Court has sought views and ways to suggest how to curb jokes on Sikhs, more and more people should come up and give suggestions or mechanism to stop these jokes. We’ve only a little time left to get away from this stereotype.  

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