Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar became the first guardsman in 180 years to parade outside Buckingham Palace wearing a turban
Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar became the first guardsman to parade outside Buckingham Palace wearing a turban instead of the bearskin.
A Sikh soldier yesterday became the first Guardsman for 180 years to parade at Buckingham Palace wearing a turban instead of the bearskin.
Jatenderpal Singh Bhullar, from West Bromwich, who is in F Company Scots Guards, said it was, “The best thing in my life”.
The 25-year-old said: “Conducting public duties while being a practising Sikh and wearing my turban is a great honour for me.
“I am very proud to be a member of the Household Division and to be the first Sikh Guardsman to mount guard in a turban will be the best thing in my life, especially as a member of the Scots Guards.
“The regiment is full of history, as is my religion.”
Guardsman Bhullar has just joined F Company Scots Guards – what is known as an “incremental company” of soldiers responsible for delivering ceremonial duties in London.
As a 5 K Sikh – someone who adheres to all five symbols that mark Sikh identify – he will also be distinguishable from his fellow soldiers on parade by his beard.
Sikhs in the Household Division have guarded the Queen many times before, but have always worn the bearskin.
Sikh Chaplain to the Armed Forces Mandeep Kaur welcomed the move.
“Sikhs have served Britain in World War One and Two with their turbans intact, confirming their commitment towards righteousness and serving others and living their identity till their last breath.
“I applaud the British Army for being appreciative and respectful towards diversity.”
BBC Program, Remembrance – The Sikh Story Full program, first aired on the 9NOV2010.
Documentary examining why followers of the Sikh religion were marked out as a ‘martial race’ under the British Empire, and how thousands of Sikh soldiers valiantly laid down their lives for Britain’s freedom across two world wars.
With contributions from eminent historians, military experts and war veterans, the film features the last-ever interview with legendary WW2 Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji, and the first television broadcast of a rare audio recording of a WW1 Sikh prisoner of war, handed to Britain in 2010 after 94 years in German hands.
While Fauja Singh – the 101- year-old marathon runner – carries the Olympic relay torch in London on July 21, Sikhs would celebrate the occasion by organising a langar (community kitchen) along the road for the public.
They would serve free roti rolls at several key points along the Olympic torch route from Greenwich Park to Waltham Forest Town Hall between 7 am (12.30 pm IST) to 8 pm (1.30 am IST). Fauja – the oldest torch-bearer at London 2012 – would carry the torch on the 64th day of the Olympics Torch Relay when it reaches Newham.
The Olympic Stadium is also located at Newham. The langar would be organised by United Sikhs – an organisation dedicated to promoting the Sikh identity and tenets.
‘We are proud to share with the public the 500-yearold Sikh tradition of serving free meals,’ Parvinder Kaur, who would manage the langar project, said.
She said that the Sikhs from the UK and around the world would be participating in celebrations. They would show the world how the community embraced diversity.
‘We hope to demonstrate through the langar how the community involves itself in selfless service.
‘We will be serving thousands of free vegetarian meals along the route,’ she said. ‘It would also showcase how community food can bring people from all walks of life together.’
Paul Uppal, MP for Wolverhampton South West, said he always believed in promoting the society as a Sikh and as a Conservative.
‘I am looking forward to seeing gurdwaras from all over the country come together to serve others in the name of faith and community.’
The people serving the langar would wear yellow Tshirts carrying Fauja’s image.
The langar would be served at several service points in each of the five boroughs – each serving at least 1,000 vegetarian roti rolls within two hours.
Fifteen gurdwaras from South and East London have already granted their consent for participating in the event.
The organisation also demonstrated how to prepare roti rolls – an improvised version of cooked mixed vegetable filled in rotis made of whole wheat flour and plain flour.
An executive chef has already taught volunteers how to prepare roti rolls. Sources said several Sikhs from India also plan to reach London to support the project.
On 21th July, the eyes of the global community will be on Fauja Singh (101 year old marathin runner). Fauja Singh will be the oldest bearer at London 2012, who will be carrying the torch on the 64th day of the Olympic Tourch relay. To read More……
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