Monday July 23, 2018

Sikhism in Iran – a part of cultural diaspora

Iran was a secure country so, they started to do business in Iran.

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Sikhism, Image source: Wikimedia commons
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Iran is a predominantly a Muslim populated country. The majority of the population that lives here are Muslims. In fact, Islam is the official religion of Islam. But there’s a lot more that Iran has to offer in terms of its cultural diversity.

Watch this video on Sikhism in Iran:

  • Besides Islam, there are several other minority religious groups living in Iran such as Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrians, Hindus etc.
  • Sikhs in Iran are sort of a closed community. The first Sikhs came to Iran from Punjab before 1947 via Zahedan border. Iran and India were neighbours and Pakistan was not yet established. Iran was a secure country so, they started to do business in Iran.
  • Sikhs are monotheists. They worship only one God (almighty). They believe that God brought them to this world to learn and follow his orders and also to build our lives according to his teachings.

Related articleIndia seeks enhanced economic ties with Iran

  • Sikhs men wear Turbans and women wear Indian traditional dresses. Everyone cover their head inside Gurudwaras as a sign of respect. There are even schools attached to the temples which are opened to non-Sikh students. Occasionally Langars (community kitchen) are organised in which pure vegetarian food are served.
  • There have been rumours that Sikhs were inspired by Iranian flags. Some speculate that the new Iran’s flag looks a lot like Sikh symbol.
  • Initially, nearly 5000 Sikhs were settled in Iran but with the Islamic revolution population of Sikhs declined significantly. Presently in Tehran (Iran’s national capital), nearly 60-100 families live.
Sikh community, Wikimedia commons
Sikh community, Wikimedia commons
  • Sikhs have been in Iran for more than 100 years. Apart from some occasional repressions, there hasn’t been any major violence in Iran against Indians (especially Hindus). Iranians love the Sikh community and same goes the other way round. Sikhs living there love Iran. They consider Iran as their homeland. Pleased with the government they feel safe and happy there.

Prepared by Pritam

Pritam is  a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata. Twitter @pritam_gogreen

 

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    So good to hear about how pleased the Sikhs are with Iran. Really happy to know that people are understanding the shift caused by industrialization

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For Plea Against Polygamy Supreme Court Takes Centre’s Response

personal laws must meet the test of constitutional validity and constitutional morality

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Centre on a fresh plea that challenged the constitutional validity of the practice of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims in India.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Centre on a fresh plea that challenged the constitutional validity of the practice of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims in India. Flickr

The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Centre on a fresh plea that challenged the constitutional validity of the practice of polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ among Muslims in India.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud issued the notice to the Centre and tagged the plea with similar petitions pending before it.

The fresh plea filed by Women Resistance Committee Chairperson Nazia Ilahi Khan, a practicing advocate at the Calcutta High Court, has challenged the practice of polygamy, ‘nikah halala’, ‘nikah mutah’ (temporary marriage among Shias) and ‘nikah misyar’ (short-term marriage among Sunnis) on the grounds that these were violative of the Constitution’s Articles 14, 15 and 21.

Under ‘nikah halala’, if a Muslim woman after divorce by her husband three times on different instances, wants to go back to him, she has to marry another person and then divorce the second husband to get re-married to her first husband.

“Declare the dissolution of the Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 unconstitutional and violative of Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution in so far as it fails to secure for the Indian Muslim women the protection from bigamy which has been statutorily secured for Indian women from other religions,” said her plea filed through advocate V.K. Biju.

The apex court has been hearing pleas filed by Sameena Begum, Nafisa Khan, Moullium Mohsin and BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay on the issue.

Article 14 guarantees equality before law, Article 15 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth and Article 21 guarantees protection of life and personal liberty.

Telling the court that though different religious communities are governed by different personal laws, Upadhyay had contended that “personal laws must meet the test of constitutional validity and constitutional morality in as much as they cannot be violative of Articles 14, 15, and 21”.

Pointing to the “appalling” affect of polygamy and other such practices on the Muslim women, senior counsel Mohan Parasaran had earlier told the apex court that the 2017 judgment holding instant ‘triple talaq’ as unconstitutional had left these two issues open and did not address them.

Polygamy, Man along with his 5 wives
Polygamy, Man along with his 5 wives. Flickr

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by then Chief Justice J.S. Khehar (since retired), by a majority judgment in 2017, had said: “Keeping in view the factual aspect in the present case, as also the complicated questions that arise for consideration in this case (and, in the other connected cases), at the very outset, it was decided to limit the instant consideration to ‘talaq-e-biddat’ or triple talaq.

Also read: Goa Common Civil Code forbids neither Oral Divorce nor Polygamy among Muslims: Governor

“Other questions raised in the connected writ petitions, such as polygamy and ‘nikah halala’ (and other allied matters), would be dealt with separately. The determination of the present controversy may, however, coincidentally render an answer even to the connected issues.” (IANS)