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Why did a province in Canada pass the Turban Day Act?

  • Published
    14th Jun, 2022
Context

With the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in Canada passing the Turban Day Act, April 13 every year will now be celebrated as Turban Day across the province.

About

Turban Day Act:

  • The Turban Day Act was introduced in the Manitoba House as a private members Bill and got the Royal Assent on June 1.
  • The Bill was passed unanimously and without a single opposition.
  • The Act says that “each year, April 13 is to be known throughout Manitoba as Turban Day”.
  • It further explains that the turban is not only a religious symbol of utmost faith for the Sikh community, but also extremely important for their respect and dignity.
  • The Act adds that giving an official recognition to the turban will also spread awareness against racism that Sikhs still face in Canada.

Why April 13?

  • The day of Baisakhi or Vaisakhi, which usually falls on April 13 or 14 each year, commemorates the birth of Khalsa Panth.
  • It was on this day in 1699 that the tenth Guru Gobind Singh had laid the foundation of Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahib among his followers.
  • Baisakhi is observed as a major festival to celebrate the birth of the Khalsa Panth.
  • The practice of wearing the turban was formalized on April 13, 1699, when Guru Gobind Singh Ji formed the Khalsa Panth and pronounced the turban a pillar of the Sikh faith.

Other Act in Canada for the Sikh community:

  • The month of April is celebrated as Sikh Heritage Month across Canada after the Federal Parliament passed the Bill in 2019 and it was given the Royal Assent.
  • Sikhs constitute just 1.4 per cent (around 5 lakh in number) of Canada’s total population but hold significant positions in the government and political system.
  • Not just Sikhs, Canada remains the most preferred destination for Punjabis to immigrate.
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