Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi – the first turban wearing MP in UK parliament history – today pledged to serve the public in the Sikh spirit of “Sarbat Da Bhala” in his maiden speech in the House of Commons.
The pledge was made during his first ever public speech in the House of Commons. Sarbat Da Bhala is a term from Sikh scripture which is most commonly translated as meaning welfare for all.
In the widely acclaimed speech, available to watch below, Tanmanjeet Singh also accused France of having a “warped interpretation of secularism” and also proclaimed his commitment to tackling Islamophobia which is “prevalent in certain sections of our society and media“, something which commonly affects Sikhs as well as Muslims.
Referring to his own historic position, Tanmanjeet Singh stated Sikhs still have issues of being accepted, let alone embraced, by other communities.
“I find it extremely disappointing that more than 80,000 turbaned Sikh soldiers laid down their lives to liberate the very country where their descendants now cannot now even take their I.D photos without removing their turbans. They cannot now even send their children to most state schools, without removing their turbans. This same warped interpretation of secularism now precludes Muslims from wearing their hijabs and niqabs, Jews from wearing their skull-caps, and Christians from wearing the cross.
“Acceptability is still a problem in advanced nations such as our close allies the United States, where several Sikhs are shot dead for mistaken identity, mistaken for terrorists.”
Tanmanjeet Singh went on to advocate speaking out against Islamophobia, before declaring, “I will be serving in the true Sikh spirit of Sarbat Da Bhala, working for the betterment of all, regardless of colour or creed.”
Check out the full speech here.