'Guru Shabd' fashion collection sign now

During the Lakme Fashion Week in Delhi (April 20-26, 2005), a particular line of clothing that was intended to be based upon the dress of the Nihung or Warrior Sikhs, hurt the sentiments of millions of Sikhs, particularly Sikh Women, across the world. Due to a general ignorance about the traditions and culture of the Sikhs, we feel that the insult hurled towards Sikhs across the world would not be appreciated or recognized without the organization of this petition. The Mata Bhaag Kaur Jagrati Dal, a worldwide organization formed by devout Sikh Women geared at raising awareness of Sikh traditions, wishes to bring the concerns of the Sikh community to your attention.

In the above mentioned fashion show, various Sikh/Khalsa symbols were used and abused as marketing gimmicks. Models wearing skimpy clothes that are completely unbefitting to the grace and dignity of Khalsa women, were adorned with Sikh symbols such as the Khanda (the Sikh emblem, consisting of two kirpans, a chakkar and a khanda) and Dastars (turbans). Some models also seemed to be wearing exaggerated versions of the Kachera, another essential component of the Khalsa dress. In accordance with the principles of the Sikh faith, the Khalsa dress is very modest and respectful. This dress, or uniform, has been a strong and central Khalsa tradition from the times of the Sikh Gurus. The clothes in this fashion show were anything but modest. Rather than depicting an image of Khalsa women, they made a mockery of the Khalsa image and go against the very principles and sacred traditions of the Khalsa. The entire show was nothing less than a direct insult to Sikhs and Sikh women in particular.

Perhaps even more insulting and disrespectful than the use of Sikh symbols, was the title given to the hurtful line of clothes: Guru Shabd. The title we give our Holy Scriptures to which we eternally bow before is Shabad Guru. To Sikhs, Shabad Guru means everything and our entire faith revolves around it. To use the very essence of the Sikh Faith to market a line of clothes is unacceptable. We understand that fashion designers seek unique and original ideas, and in no way do we want to hinder your creativity. However, there are religious lines that should be respected. You have clearly crossed these lines and have deeply hurt the sentiments of the Sikh people. Through this line of clothes, you have made a mockery of the Sikh faith, Sikh history and Sikh traditions. We find this surprising, as it would be expected that respected designers such as yourselves would know better than to target and hurt the religious sentiments of an entire faith.

There are numerous ways to compile clothing lines and it is not necessary to offend the sentiments of religious communities in the process. On behalf of the Sikh community we ask that this line of clothes be withdrawn and a formal apology issued. We also implore you to be more sensitive in the future and to educate yourselves about the history and traditions of the Sikh faith so that you may gain an appreciation for the pain that you have caused to the Sikh people worldwide.


-Mata Bhaag Kaur Jagrati Dal

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Lloyd TranBy:
School and EducationIn:
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Shantanu & Nikhil fashion designers

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