French President Nicholas Sarkozy is visiting India starting today, and he’ll be meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. I’m sure they’ll have a lot to talk about. But a big elephant lurks in the room: Manmohan Singh would not be allowed to attend public school in Sarkozy’s France. Isn’t that just a little awkward/funny? United Sikhs and other groups hope Manmohan Singh brings this up. It would really be a showing of character if Manmohan Singh can stand up for himself and immutable identity.

Sikhs Seek Assurance from Indian PM that he would Raise Turban Issue with French President
Sikhs Will Persist to Keep The French Turban Ban Issue Alive Until it is Resolved

New Delhi, 25th January 2008 –UNITED SIKHS, a United Nations affiliated international advocacy NGO and other Sikh organizations request the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to publicly state if he will discuss the Sikh Turban issue in France with French President Nicholas Sarkozy during the latter’s visit to India, which starts today.

In the last week, UNITED SIKHS and Sikhs organizations globally have requested a meeting with Dr. Manmohan Singh to request that he raise the French ban on the Sikh Turban issue with Mr Sarkozy. We have also written to the Chairperson of the UPA, Sonia Gandhi and the Indian External Affairs Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, seeking an assurance that the issue will be on the top of Dr. Manmohan Singh’s agenda with Mr Sarkozy.

“No Sikh organization has been granted a meeting with Dr. Manmohan Singh or the External Affairs Minister, but we will persist in our request for a meeting so that we are able to effectively apprise him of the issues,” said Mejindarpal Kaur, UNITED SIKHS director who is leading the legal challenge to the French ban on the Sikh Turban in schools and on ID document photos.

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  • United Sikhs petitioning France

    United Sikhs, the most prominent international Sikh group fighting for the rights of Sikhs in France, has issued an appeal. Write to your embassy.

    At issue is the sad fact that Sikhs like myself cannot attend public school in France. Yes, it sounds incomprehensible, but it’s true. In a progressive world that has taken many steps in favor of human rights and equality over the last several decades (see the US civil rights movement, for example), why do they want to exclude Sikhs and others from attending public school? What a shame. I have been to France on vacation, and I will say that I met many friendly people there. Let’s hope these nice people will have some sense and fix their laws which ultimately divide instead of unite. This is hatred, racism, and intolerance at a rather prominent level (as much as we Americans like to point out how backward and lame France is, we should probably help them in this case since the French are oppressing their own citizens by denying them an education.)

    To view the memorandum, please click
    http://unitedsikhs.org/memo-to-french-embassy/

    Instructions to use the draft memorandum:

    * Copy the drafted memorandum onto your organizations letterhead and print it.
    * Request the authorized signing authority of your organization to sign the memorandum.
    * Make an appointment to give the memorandum personally to the French Consular or Ambassador in your country.
    OR
    Fax or email the signed memorandum to your local French Consulate in your city/country. To find the fax number or email address of your Consulate/Embassy, click on http://www.french-in-france.biz/ingles/fr_embassies_a.html .
    * Email a copy of the sent memorandum to UNITED SIKHS at rtt@unitedsikhs.org , or send it as a fax to 001-810-885-4264.
    * [IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS EXECUTING THE ABOVE AND NEED ANY ASSISTANCE, CALL 001-646-315-3909 OR WRITE TO rtt@unitedsikhs.org ]