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Has the government just allowed Kirpan for Sikh passengers on domestic flights? Here is what we know

Earlier on Monday, the central government reversed its earlier decision to ban Sikh employees working at the airports from carrying a Kirpan.

Earlier on Monday, the Central government reversed its decision to ban Sikh employees working at the airports from carrying a Kirpan (a short sword or knife with a curved blade, worn as one of the 5 distinguishing signs of the Sikh Khalsa) on their person. Earlier this month, Union Ministry of Civil Aviation had put restrictions on airport employees from carrying the Kirpan in person, a compulsory religious symbol for Amritdhari (baptized) Sikhs.

Every baptized Sikh has to follow the rule of 5 Ks as ordained and commanded by Guru Gobind Singh Ji on Baisakhi day in 1699. The 5 Ks are Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (comb), Kara (steel bracelet), Kachhera (underwear) and Kirpan.

While passengers were allowed to carry a Kirpan on person, just like before, Sikhs working at the airports were stopped from carrying a Kirpan. The decision led to condemnation from Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) who asked for a reversal of the decision.

Now the central government has issued a corrigendum allowing the Sikh employees at the airports to continue to carry their Kirpan with them. While the passengers traveling through the airports can continue to carry one to the cabin on their person, like earlier.

However, a slightly misleading tweet from ANI made many people believe that government has just now allowed Sikh passengers to carry a Kirpan inside the cabin during a flight, leading to outrage against the government.

While this rule is exactly the same as it was earlier for passengers, many Twitter users got upset at this supposedly “new” exemption extended by the government.

It was only after a couple of hours that ANI put out a tweet clarifying that government has only reversed the decision to ban Kirpan on person for the employees working in the airports. However, till then, the outrage had already gone viral with many people condemning the government for allowing Kirpans inside the cabin of the airplanes.

So just to summarize, there has been absolutely no change in regulations regarding carrying a Kirpan on person in domestic flights. Sikhs can carry the same size of Kirpan that they were allowed to carry earlier in domestic flights. The rule that had come to bar employees in airports from carrying one, has been withdrawn.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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