Canadian Sikh Teen Campaigns against proposed bill-21 banning religious symbols


The minority community-based in the Canadian province has responded to Québec’s proposed Bill-21.

Bill-21 that would affect the minority community, including Sikhs, a Montreal-based student, Sukhman Singh Shergill has resolved to gather support against the Bill.

The Bill-21 proposes to ban wearing of religious symbols by public servants, which will affect school staff, police officers, provincial justice minister, attorney general, director of criminal and penal prosecutions, crown prosecutors, provincial government lawyers or notaries, members and heads of government commissions, speaker and vice-speaker of the National Assembly, clerks, sheriffs, commissioners, doctors, nurses, daycare officials, bus drivers and bankruptcy registrars.

Bill 21 will affect thousands of other students including Sukhman, who has a dream of becoming a police officer.

Manpreet Shergill, the mother of Sukhman, said that his son had always dreamt of creating history by becoming the first police officer in Montreal to wear a turban.

The proposed Bill has, however, put all his dreams at risk.

Interestingly, the reason behind the change of New York Police Department’s uniform policy in 2016, by which the Department had allowed its Sikh officers to wear turbans instead of traditional police cap, was Sukhman’s cousin Gurvinder Singh.

Sukhman, who had resolved to campaign against the Bill, has created a Facebook group named the Quebec Association of Sikhs.

In the group, he hosted his video explaining how the Bill-21 will affect people like him. With the help of his group, he is hoping to gather public support.

Sukhman also wanted the Montreal Police to reflect its diversity as well as know about his religion.

Previously, the Montreal police (SPVM) has clarified that it has not taken any position in case of religious symbols.

The Montreal Police Union simultaneously said that it was in favour of the ban.

Conversely, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has openly said, “I am not in favour of Quebec’s proposed ban on religious symbols as it compromised with the freedom of people.”

Moreover, the Montreal City Council has unanimously passed declaration against Bill-21.

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