Thursday, March 12, 2015

“Sensibility over sentimental”

“Whether the knife falls on the melon or the melon on the knife, the melon suffers” African Proverb.

Good morning!

Yesterday, I was travelling in the Metro from Dwarka Mor to Noida Botanical garden on my way to office. In the Metro, I saw two Punjabis and noticed both of them were carrying a small knife respectively.  I was wondering, “Why are they carrying a small knife in a Metro train and how’s this possible?” As soon as I reached my workplace, I typed the words ‘Punjabis carrying small knife” and searched in Google. Thanks to internet, I learned the small knife usually wore or carried by Punjabis is known as “Kirpan”.
A brief history on how it led to the birth of Kirpan was from the conflicts between the Punjabis and the Mughal Empire leading to the militarization of Sikhs followers under Guru Hargobind in the early 17th century. I believe it the rights of every man to defend his own tradition and culture during that era. And I still do believe but through the channel of dialogues and negotiations without the need of weapons. Of course, Kirpan are carried with good intention by Sikh followers as their expression of faith, self defense and to protect those weaker people around you. But I fear if someone misuses the Kirpan.

Under Article 25 of the Indian constitution, carrying of Kirpan is deemed legal for the followers of Sikh religion. Also, a Sikh passenger and traveling in domestic flight in India as per the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (See: It mentioned the size of Kirpan should not be more than 6 inch blade and 3 inch handle. In my opinion, I completely perceive the legal status of Kirpan in Airplane as a domestic security threat. Please note that I’m not criticizing Sikh religion but rather the legal status which I believe is a loophole in Airplane security as well as in Metro.

Can you imagine if terrorists disguised themselves as Punjabis and carries Kirpan or small knife in an Airplane with the sole purpose to hijack? We are living in India whereas our friendly neighbor country Pakistan extremist is breeding terrorists to sabotage our normal life. We do realize that terrorists can even cross a sea to attack Mumbai in 2008. However, the legal status of Kirpan is like a wedding invitation for any terrorist organization to our country. I still remember the hijackings of four Airplanes on 11 September, 2001 which unfortunately brought down the Twin World Trade Centre and attempted plane crash in Pentagon, touted as one of the most secured place in United States.

But the question is how the hijacking of four planes was possible on that day. Simple, the hijacking of four planes was carried out with knife. And this can also happen in India but easily!
With all due respect to Sikh beliefs, I always believe the safety and security for all the people of India is more important than the teachings of any religions. In fact, we are well passed the 17th century Mughal Empire of India which led to the birth of Kirpan, and we are living the 21st century. I’m not sure how the government of India should approach on the legal status of Kirpan. However, do you think whether our government needs to review the Article 25 of the Indian constitution before it’s too late?

Thank you. Have a good day!

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