TURBAN TURMOIL: Buckingham Palace guard given permission to ditch traditional bearskin hat

Published: December 3, 2012

Members of the horseguards brigade fix their hats along the Processional Route to Buckingham Palace before the wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton in London on April 29, 2011. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER DESI

An Indian-origin Sikh set to be the first person guarding Buckingham Palace in his turban after being given the privilege not to wear the mandatory bearskin on ceremonial duties has ignited a debate all over the world.

Guardsman Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar, 25, who joined the Scots Guards this year, has been given permission to wear a turban when on guard duty outside Buckingham Palace, breaking hundreds of years of tradition, the Daily Mail reported Sunday.

The regiment traces its origin back to 1642 and its soldiers have worn bearskins on parade since 1832.

Bhullar is based at Wellington Barracks in Birdcage Walk. The base is used by soldiers from the Scots Guards’ F Company, who are responsible for public duties and guarding the Queen.

According to military sources, Bhullar, from Birmingham, is expected to parade for the first time next week. When he marches with his colleagues he will become the first guardsman not to wear a bearskin headgear.

As a devout Sikh, it is mandatory for Bhullar to wear a turban. It is intended to protect his hair, which he never cuts, and to keep them clean.

For centuries, Sikhs have worn turbans in battle and fought as part of the British Army – including Bhullar’s grandfather, who served in World War II.

The step, however, has irked some serving non-commissioned officers based at Wellington Barracks, who are furious that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) compromised centuries of history for one soldier.

Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar is photographed during military airborne training. Submitted photo/Facebook

Traditionalists in the Scots Guards say the allowances made for Bhullar will make the whole company look ridiculous to tourists and onlookers.

David Cuthill, chairman of the Dundee branch, told the Daily Mail the guardsmen will look “ridiculous” if Bhullar wears a turban instead of a bearskin.

“It should be regiment first and religion second. A guardsman is not a guardsman if he’s not wearing his bearskin,” he said.

“Hundreds of years of tradition should be protected. I appreciate his predicament, but if all the other guardsmen are in bearskins and he is in a turban, it is going to look ridiculous.”

According to the newspaper, this sentiment was shared by a number of other serving non-commissioned officers based at the Wellington Barracks, where Bhullar is based.

Bhullar is one of only 20 to 25 British-born Sikhs in the British Army.

An MoD spokeswoman said: “The Army takes great pride in its diversity. Discussions are underway between this unit, the Sikh community and the MoD. The individual will have the full support of the Army and his colleagues.”

- with files from IANS






Featured

linda-hepnerdesi

Mayoral candidate Linda Hepner commits to operational Surrey LRT by 2018

Mayoral hopeful says Surrey residents haven’t seen an expansion in LRT for two decades  AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — Mayoral hopeful Linda Hepner says…
Continue Reading »

10336715_10152221434949315_4707600074607000802_n

Sikhs bring campaign against violence to Vancouver

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Sikhs from around the globe are bringing their efforts to “end the silence on violence” to Vancouver this weekend. U.K.-based organization…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Ottawa shooter kicked out of Burnaby mosque two years ago

Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to leave the mosque, because he had “gotten a hold of keys and stuff from the mosque, and when he got out…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Today in History – Nov. 3

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Nov. 3: On this date: In 1580, English explorer Sir Francis Drake returned from his voyage around…
Continue Reading »

linda-hepnerdesi

Mayoral candidate Linda Hepner commits to operational Surrey LRT by 2018

Mayoral hopeful says Surrey residents haven’t seen an expansion in LRT for two decades  AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — Mayoral hopeful Linda Hepner says…
Continue Reading »

10336715_10152221434949315_4707600074607000802_n

Sikhs bring campaign against violence to Vancouver

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI Sikhs from around the globe are bringing their efforts to “end the silence on violence” to Vancouver this weekend. U.K.-based organization…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper: Attack by ‘terrorist’ on Parliament Hill won’t weaken Canada’s resolve

JOAN BRYDEN THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA – The gunman who staged a deadly attack Wednesday on Parliament Hill was a terrorist whose despicable crime will…
Continue Reading »

SURREY-FIELD HOCKEY

Barinder Rasode announces plan to develop field hockey pitch in Surrey

Third field at Tamanawis Park would cost approximately $3 million KYLE BENNING SURREY NOW NEWTON – Barinder Rasode and the One Surrey team were at…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver-Surrey-Festival-India

Diwali celebrations in Vancouver and Surrey

DiwaliFest celebrates its 11th anniversary from Oct. 17 to 26 at various sites in Surrey and Vancouver. Diwali Celebration Friday, Oct. 24 at Firehall Centre…
Continue Reading »

India-weird news

Rudaali: India’s professional ‘weeping women’ demand higher pay

CEN AGENCY Professional mourners who are hired to turn up at people’s funerals in India, beat their breasts and wail, are going on strike for…
Continue Reading »

Abbotsford

Jag Khosa: Families pay the ultimate price of gang wars

DET. JAG KHOSA SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Late into the night, the parents of a young man struggled to sleep. The mother kept tossing and…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Salman Khan-Bollywood

Narendra Modi to attend Salman Khan’s sister Arpita Khan’s wedding?

HINDUSTAN TIMES If all goes as per plan, then Prime Minister Narendra Modi just might be attending the wedding of Salman Khan’s sister, Arpita Khan….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood kiss

Bollywood’s king of kisses Emraan Hashmi refuses to dance with the queen of sex Sunny Leone

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood’s serial kisser Emraan Hashmi has refused to share screen space with porn star-turned Bollywood-actress Sunny Leone, Indian tabloid Mid-Day reported. Hashmi, who…
Continue Reading »

Jackie Chan

First India-China joint venture film starring Jackie Chan launched

HINDUSTAN TIMES Chinese action star Jackie Chan will star in the first Sino-India joint film production slated to go on the floors in the coming…
Continue Reading »