Dya Singh, world renowned Sikh musician, has issued the following appeal. You can contact him at dyasingh at gmail dot com. Basically, someone is arguing in an Australian court that Sikh children should not keep their hair. *update* All Sikh organizations are encouraged to support the cause of Sikh children keeping their hair.

Dear fellow ‘Sikhs’,

My daughter Jamel is going through a ‘child custody’ hearing in February of which the central point of contention is the question of ‘hair’. Jamel has made every effort to retain the hair of the children whilst her ex-husband, Harbalvinder Dhillon (and family) have made every effort to denigrate her efforts and also in the process, keep trimming the children’s hair, so that, the making of the top knot (for her son) becomes ever so frustrating as he (the father) does not allow the hair to grow to a length to facilitate the making of a top-knot as is done with boys.

Interim orders of the court have ordered Harbalvinder, the father not to cut the hair of the children. In spite of such orders, he continues to do so.

Now it is the central issue in the next hearing for the custody of the children and Harbalvinder is making a concerted effort in obtaining the legal right to cut his son’s hair immediately.

Harbalvinder Dhillon (and his family) claims in his affidavit that in accordance with today’s trends,in the interest of modernisation and to ensure that the children, especially the boy, Saffal does not develop an inferiority complex, it is imperative that their hair should be cut so that they do not feel out of place in today’s modern society, and in fact better fit in.

I request for letters of support from Sikh bodies to refute this claim by him. I especially request letters to support the retention of hair for Sikh children up till at least they are of age when they can make their own decisions regarding their hair. That should be the status quo. It will be a slap in the face of all Sikh bodies if the father and his family, in this case, are allowed to cut his children’s hair against the mother’s wishes and if I may say so, against the wishes of the whole Sikh community.

Jamel has made every effort to encourage the keeping of hair and in fact little Saffal is proud of his unshorn hair. Jamel makes certain that both children regularly attend Sikh youth camps, seminars and other gatherings with other Sikh children with unshorn hair. This, I am sure will be borne out by affidavits from such camps in Sydney and Melbourne. Such camps go on regularly in Sydney, Melbourne and in other cities and also overseas.

I request such letters especially from Sikh Council of Australia; United Sikhs; The Gurdwara Perbhandhak Committee of Gurdwara Sahib Blackburn, Victoria; The Craigieburn Gurdwara Sahib, Sikh Youth Camps, Australia; Sikh Naujawans Victoria and any other body who feels it can lend its support in this case.

I also take this opportunity to urge Sikhs not to support bodies which claim to be ‘Sikh’ but actually are doing more harm to Sikhi than good by encouraging its members and other attendees to cut their hair, partake liberally of alcoholic drinks and providing Sikh youth with a platform to, in fact, drift further away from the tenets of our faith. There are such bodies in Melbourne of which Harbalvinder Dhillon, the father of the children, is a product.


Dya Singh

PS - please feel free to distribute this email as far and wide as you like. Please feel free to email or phone me to discuss specifics of the case.