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Girl hates 'Kaur' in her name, wanted certificate she is a Sikh
Friday, August 03, 2007 - NEW DELHI: Anti-Sikh venom can come in many forms, and all that the Sikhs should do to trigger a round of such venom spouting is to just follow the norms, stick to the law and retain self-respect.
Take the latest instance in which the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) issues certificates showing that a Sikh boy or girl has minority status. These certificates are used by the young students to lay claim to the admission quota meant for minorities. Why does one need a certificate from the DSGMC? Because one is a Sikh and the DSGMC can rightfully certify that.
But when a girl went to seek such a certificate but stubbornly insisted that she will not have "Kaur" in her name and would rather have the caste included as her surname, the DSGMC expressed inability to grant a certificate as all Sikh girls are to have "Kaur" in their names. This is in keeping with the Sikh Code of Conduct.
The issue was provocation enough for a leading Indian English newspaper, which wrote: "If you believed casteism is rampant only in Uttarakhand, Bihar or Madhya Pradesh, our Capital is not far from it. A student of Delhi University (DU) was asked to use 'Kaur' as a middle name so that she is eligible for a minority certificate."
It further wrote: "Nainpreet Narula, now Nainpreet Kaur Narula, was denied a minority certificate by the DSGMC because she did not have Kaur as a surname."
The problem was that while Narula insisted that she was a Sikh, she could not explain why she had a problem with a name which was the blessing of the Guru, the rule of the Khalsa and the norm in the community.
The obviously irritated journalist quoted the DSGMC chief, deliberately calling him Paramjit Sarna (and removing middlename 'Singh'): "Whoever feels shamed of putting Kaur as a surname need not practise Sikhism. Here are students who, after getting minority certificate from us, get admission in engineering colleges."
The girl finally introduced 'Kaur' as her middle name, got the certificate and admission to a college on the basis of it but said she still does not like her new name. Whether she is a Sikh or not should now remain a matter between her and her God, but will the newspaper reporter be happy if the DSGMC certified that someone called Mohammad Haneef Gumza Khan was a Sikh? Afterall, what's in a name, Mr Big Time Reporter?
- Written by Gurmej Singh
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