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

Jian Ghomeshi

‘Big Ears Teddy’ Twitter account posted Jian Ghomeshi abuse allegations six months ago

ISHMAEL N. DARO CANADA.COM In less than a week, Jian Ghomeshi has gone from one of the most well-known and beloved CBC personalities to an…
Continue Reading »

Police tape-Abbotsford-crime

Surrey police looking for witnesses to pedestrian struck by vehicle

TOM ZYTARUK VANCOUVER DESI SURREY – An elderly Surrey pedestrian struck down while walking in a marked crosswalk in Newton on Oct. 11 has died….
Continue Reading »

ATM-snakes

Bank customer flees after snake found sleeping by ATM machine

CEN AGENCY A bank customer in India fled when he went to use a cashpoint machine and found a four-foot cobra coiled up in front…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

TransCanada files application to NEB for Energy East crude pipeline

By Lauren Krugel THE CANADIAN PRESS CALGARY — After dozens of open houses and thousands of conversations across six provinces, TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) has filed…
Continue Reading »

Jian Ghomeshi

‘Big Ears Teddy’ Twitter account posted Jian Ghomeshi abuse allegations six months ago

ISHMAEL N. DARO CANADA.COM In less than a week, Jian Ghomeshi has gone from one of the most well-known and beloved CBC personalities to an…
Continue Reading »

Police tape-Abbotsford-crime

Surrey police looking for witnesses to pedestrian struck by vehicle

TOM ZYTARUK VANCOUVER DESI SURREY – An elderly Surrey pedestrian struck down while walking in a marked crosswalk in Newton on Oct. 11 has died….
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Weird news

Video: Vicar wants to ban outrageous farting, rapping baby baptism ad

CEN AGENCY An advert showing a farting baby rapping about being baptized has come under fire from the Church. The 29 second clip which was…
Continue Reading »

Smart 21 communities

Surrey named among World’s Smart21 Communities of 2015

VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. – The Intelligent Community Forum has named the City of Surrey as one of the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2015. As one…
Continue Reading »

elephant crushes woman to death

Elephant crushes woman to death at India’s nature reserve

CEN AGENCY A school teacher was crushed to death by an elephant when it knocked her over with its trunk and then stood on her….
Continue Reading »

Crime-Vancouver-BC

Surrey Six murders: Allegations of weekend sex party, ‘sordid’ affair between investigator and potential witness rock case

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI The Surrey Six case heard details Tuesday of allegations of sexual improprieties involving a second senior RCMP officer. When charges were…
Continue Reading »

CBC-sexual behaviour-lawsuit

Jian Ghomeshi’s CBC lawsuit is hopeless — even if he’s telling the truth

HOWARD LEVITT FINANCIAL POST Jian Ghomeshi’s $50-million lawsuit against the CBC has everything to do with strategy and PR — but nothing to do with…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Ismaili musicians - Aga Khan foundation

Salim-Sulaiman show underlines Vancouver’s rising Bollywood cachet

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI With big-time Bollywood composers Salim-Sulaiman set to kick off their North American tour at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Saturday, it…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan

Burdwan blast: Shah Rukh Khan prays for better times for Bengal

IANS Kolkata – Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, West Bengal’s brand ambassador, Wednesday expressed his unwillingness to talk about the terror blast in Burdwan, but…
Continue Reading »

Ayesha Takia Azmi vegan

Chic Bollywood actress Ayesha Takia poses with a chick for PETA (w/gallery)

IANS New Delhi – Ahead of World Vegan Day on Nov 1, actress Ayesha Takia has posed with a fluffy chick for a new ad…
Continue Reading »