The Indian Army’s plan to buy approximately 13,000 helmets for Sikh soldiers has prompted a protest from the Akal Takht and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in New Delhi. Male Sikh believers must cover their heads with a turban.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the organisations have demanded that the Union government reverse its decision, arguing that the turban is the only emblem of Sikh identity and should not be changed with a helmet.
According to the Times of India, the defence ministry published a procurement or call for proposals on January 5 for 12,730 ballistic helmets for Sikh soldiers. These helmets attempt to completely enclose the head, in contrast to the bulletproof “patkas” that Sikh soldiers already wear. The proposal specifies that extra-large and large sizes for the helmets are required.