Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has announced that it is now optional for Sikh women to wear helmets in Chandigarh. The Union Territory administration of Chandigarh has been advised that for Sikh women riding a two wheeler or sitting pillion, it may be made optional to wear protective head gear, as per the extant practice in Delhi.
Last week, MHA had completely exempted Sikh women from wearing the protective head gear.
In Delhi, the transport issued a notification on June 4, 1999 to make an amendment in Rule 115 of Delhi Motor Vehicle Act 1993, making it optional for women “whether riding on pillion or driving motorcycle to wear a protective headgear”. On August 28, 2014, another notification further amended the notification in the Delhi Motor Vehicle Rule 1993, in Sub-Rule 115 to replace the word “Women”, with the word “Sikh Women.”
Earlier this month, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had assured leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal that the notification making it mandatory for Sikh women to wear helmets in the Union Territory of Chandigarh would be withdrawn.
“We had appealed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh I and am glad that the Home Ministry has agreed to our demand,” said Sukhbir Singh Badal leader of Siromani Akali Dal (SAD), an ally of the BJP.
“This is in response to the representations Home Minister received from various Sikh organisations,” a senior Home Ministry functionary told NDTV.
“A Sikh– man or woman can’t wear any kind of hat as it is prohibited strictly in the code of conduct for Sikhs. So, no Sikh woman can wear helmet,” said one of the office bearers of the SAD women wing.
“Death is certain and it will come when it has to whether you wear a helmet or not,” she said.