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Kejriwal speaks out against 'Santa-Banta', supports plea to ban jokes on Sikh community

With the Supreme Court agreeing to hear a public interest litigation seeking a ban on jokes lampooning the Sikh community, the issue is well and trhas come under the spotlight. Now, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has expressed his support for the ban, and has signed a petition on change.org opposing such jokes.

Kejriwal signed a hard copy of the petition when it was circulated in a gurudwara, and said that people 'should not be making jokes on religious and caste lines,' The Hindu reported.

 Kejriwal speaks out against Santa-Banta, supports plea to ban jokes on Sikh community

File photo. Image courtesy: AP

Kejriwal expression of support for the issue comes even as the Aam Aadmi Party is planning to contest elections in Punjab, The Hindu report notes.

"While we are a fun loving community, and love our culture — the bhangra, the language — we DO NOT like it when '12 baje jokes' or 'Santa Banta jokes' are cracked at our expense," the petition says, adding, "It is not about Sikhs not being able to take a joke, it's about hurting our religious sentiments." The petition was filed by RPS Kohli, a businessman from West Delhi.

In article in The Times of India, Kohli has said that bigotry 'should not go unchallenged' and that such humour is a form of physical, psychological and spiritual exploitation of the Sikh community. Kohi recalled an incident in which a group of Sikhs saved a group of drowning boys by tossing their turbans to them and questioned how the saviours would feel if the rescued persons were to say to them, "Sardar, baara baj gaye the kya?"

A petition demanding that such jokes should be pulled down from websites has been filed by senior lawyer Harvinder Chowdhury. In an interview with Debobrat Ghosh of Firstpostshe said, "It's high time that we came out strongly against the wrong portrayal of Sikhs through Santa Banta jokes. Many of the jokes are highly objectionable and have pornographic content."

Chowdhury has claimed that she was ridiculed in a courtroom even on the day that she filed her PIL before the Supreme Court bench.

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Updated Date: Dec 02, 2015 16:20:29 IST