Sikh-Run Colleges Deny Applicants Based on "Non-Sikh" Physical Appearance

July 1, 2005

Source: The Tribune

On July 1, 2005 The Tribune reported, "If you consider yourself a Sikh and thought getting admission to the two engineering colleges run by the SGPC [Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the ruling body based in the main Sikh temple at Amritsar, India] was a cake walk, you may be wrong. The authorities of the religious body have become all-time strict regarding compliance of the norms laid down in Sikhism...Two colleges have set up their counters in an eligibility centre, especially for screening candidates who do not abide by the principles of Sikhism, at least as regards their physical appearance... The faculty of the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur College of Engineering and Technology declared certain candidates ineligible on the condition that few of them wore a turban but had their hair cut...

Similarly, the faculty of Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana, struck off the names of girls from the list of those applying under the Sikh minority quota as they said that few girls coming to them had their hair trimmed while others were getting their eyebrows threaded.

In yet more interesting cases, the applications of many students were rejected as they were not using 'Singh' or 'Kaur' after their first names as prescribed in Sikhism."