Before tonight’s show of Take Me Out, I was sceptical when I found out that a ‘Singh’ was going to be on the show. It was something that had been joked about between friends if this was ever to happen, like what song you would come down to or what colour pagh (turban) you would wear.
Today, this finally became reality when a Singh actually came down the lift. I was worried about how this could mean Singh’s came across to the public. The general opinion was known that he was going to get a ‘blackout’. People like me said that this was demeaning towards all Sikhs. However, after thinking about the whole situation, I would like to apologise to Param from Take Me Out and say thank you to him.
To everyone that watched Take Me Out tonight, we saw a particular quote from one of the girls. Jodie disrespected, in my opinion, my religion- Sikhism. She said that she didn’t like taking her handbag out with her because it got in her way, so with a turban, she could put her phone and other accessories into it.
Nowadays, people relate the turban to terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden. These people need educating as they don’t know the difference between religions. On Twitter and Facebook today, I have seen people stating, “Oh look its 9/11 and the terrorist is coming down the lift”. This may be called as ‘casual banter’ however the turban is an important part of Sikhism. In addition, the twitter trend #casualturbanracisim started. My question(s) to the people that start these trends is what do you actually know about the turban?
I believe the problem is the UK education. Obviously, people haven’t been educated regarding Sikhism. It has been a couple of years since I’ve left school and from what I can remember there was nothing in the syllabuses regarding Sikhism. The obvious religions that kids learn about is the ‘main three’ Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. For people not to know about Sikhism and relate the pagh (turban) to anyone seen wearing one is wrong. Within Sikhism, the pagh is key part of the religion; it is called the crown that Sikhs wear.
Racism can be found everywhere, most recently with Kevin Prince Boateng walking off the football pitch because of racial abuse from football fans. I fully believe that this story should have got the media attention received, because there is no place for racism. But this story will go undercover because it is something to be ‘expected’. Why should Sikhs accept racism of this kind? Why should Sikhs that wear paghs get abuse because one bad person has been published with a turban? Why does society accept this type of racism? WHY?!!!
On a personal note, I would love to see this story taken national, but I know it won’t happen because ‘it’s expected’. People say that racism in the UK has disappeared but in fact it is very much still here, just not for all to see.
Follow me on twitter @ManvirChauhan