Man Booked And Arrested For Smoking At A Gurudwara For ‘Hurting Religious Sentiments’
The man reportedly took a puff and threw his cigarette behind the ragis sitting in Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib gurudwara in Anandpur Sahib.
He was arrested for outraging religious sentiments.
A man was arrested on Monday in Punjab for smoking at a gurudwara. Paramjit Singh, who is a Sikh from the dominant Jatt caste, hails from Ludhiana, as per The Tribune.
The man reportedly took a puff and threw his cigarette behind the ragis sitting in Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib gurudwara in Anandpur Sahib. He was booked for outraging religious sentiments (IPC section 295A) and promptly arrested. The incident happened in the wee hours around 4.30 am.
After his arrest, the accused’s family claimed that he was schizophrenic.
Sikhs consider smoking tobacco a taboo as the tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, prohibited Sikhs from doing it. Depictions of Sikhs smoking in films often trigger outrage.
In 2018, Bollywood film Manmarziyaan courted controversy when a scene showed a Sikh man, played by Abhishek Bachchan, smoking after solemnising his marriage rituals. The character was shown removing his turban and smoking.
The Sikh community protested this scene, saying it hurt their religious sentiments. The production house, Eros, deleted the scene from the film. Another scene showing actor Taapsee Pannu smoking who is a Sikh in real life was deleted too.
Later, Pannu criticised the protests and , “I am sure this edit will assure that no Sikh will ever Smoke and no woman will ever think about ANYONE else while getting married in a Gurudwara. THIS surely will make Waheguru proud and assures that MY religion is the purest, most righteous and peaceful (sic).”
In 2016, the 91-year-old Sikh Gurdwaras Act of 1925 was prohibit all those Sikhs from voting in the elections to Sikh religious bodies who smoke or consume alcohol. Those who trim or shave beard and hair were added in the prohibition list too.
The original act allowed any Sikh above 21 years of age to vote.
The amendment was passed after then president Pranab Mukherjee gave assent to a bill passed in Parliament. The act regulates administration of gurdwaras in Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
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