Sikhs In Jail

For those of you who may not know, Satnaam Singh is a prisoner in the States and is being transferred to a prison in Florida. Florida State law however states that all prisoners must get their hair cut regardless of religious beliefs, so basically it would hold true for Satnaam Singh to undergo the same. The Sikh Coalition started a petition and seems to be handling Satnaam Singhs case, so I recommend that everyone take the 2 minutes it takes to sign it.

Something that’s been on my mind for awhile now is should Sikhs in jail receive special treatment over other prisoners, in regards to
their kakaars? Of course every jail is different so the rules that each has differs from place to place, but the rules are pretty
consistent throughout, since I doubt theres a jail in the world that would permit the Kirpaan.

If a person is amrtidhari and commits a crime such as rape, murder of civilians/innocent, or anything else that is blatantly against the tenants of Sikhism, it is more than obvious that the individual has gone against Sikhi’s core beliefs, so being stripped of their Kaakars isn’t all that unreasonable, actually it something I would encourage and be in favour of. After all, what better way to expose a Sikh rapist, murder or otherwise crook, then to shave them and paint their faces black, and make them rott in a cell.

Shaheed Bhai Sukhdev Singh & Bhai Nirmal SinghBut, what happens when a Singh kills someone who was more than deserving, or if a crime was committed that wasn’t really all that much of a crime. Is it fair then for that individual to suffer and be treated like every other prisoner or more importantly be expected to give up their Kakaars?

Looking at the jeevans of many Gursikhs in jail, many of them have made this sacrifice as they felt whatever sevaa they did to get into jail was worth the loss, and their separation from their kakaars may even count as being part of the sevaa, after all for such a devout Sikh to be stripped of their Kakaars is no small thing.

All jails (those that I know of anyways) ban Kirpaans, for the obvious reasons, but would the same Singhs have done what they did if they had to give up their Kes? If that was the case, I think the crimes committed would be a lot more brazen, or actions so grave that it would leave them in body bag versus being locked up with their head shaved like a sheep.

Anyways sign the petition, even though it may not change things, its still worth a shot.

Source: Shinda Singh's Blog

1 comment:

Khalsa4ever said...

Interesing point of view... I agree that some crimes like rape, murder, etc. would certainly go against the rule of Sikhi and so they probably shouldn't get to keep their kakhaars.

But then we have cases like tax evasion, self-defence cases where jail time might still be prescribed, and I'm not sure what rules could apply there.

I guess it would be nice to have a consistant set of rules in all of these cases...