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New York: In a rare religious accommodation to an active-duty combat soldier, the US Army has allowed a Sikh captain to grow his beard and wear a turban, a move that may have far-reaching implications for troops seeking to display their faith, a media report said.
Captain Simratpal Singh was forced to see his locks drop to the floor on his first day at the US Military Academy at West Point almost 10 years ago, as the army did not allow soldiers to have long hair or beard, the New York Times reported.
However, all this changed last week for Captain Singh, who believed his “self-image” was “cut away” after the army granted him a religious accommodation that will allow him to grow his beard and wrap his hair in a turban.
“It is wonderful. I had been living a double life, wearing a turban only at home,” said the Bronze Star awardee, who led a platoon of combat engineers who cleared roadside bombs in Afghanistan.
“My two worlds have finally come back together,” the NYT quoted him as saying.
The daily said it was the first time in decades that the military has granted a religious accommodation for a beard to an active-duty combat soldier — a move that observers say could open the door for Muslims and other troops seeking to display their faith.
But it is only temporary, lasting for a month while the army decides whether to give permanent status to Captain Singh’s exception.
However, the Sikh soldier told the NYT that he was prepared to sue if the accommodation is not made permanent.
“This is a precedent-setting case,” said Eric Baxter, senior counsel at the Becket Fund, a non-profit public interest law firm that specialises in religious liberty.
“A beard is a beard is a beard. If you let one religious individual grow it, you will need to do it for all religions.”
Army spokesperson Lt Col Jennifer R Johnson said the US Army does not comment on individual personnel decisions, but added that future requests for such accommodations would be evaluated “on a case-by-case basis, considering the impact on unit and individual readiness, unit cohesion, morale, discipline, and health and safety of the force”.
The US military has become increasingly inclusive, allowing gay men and lesbians to serve openly, and women to serve in combat roles. But it has held a stiff line on uniforms and grooming standards.
Bearded Sikhs fought in the US Army in World War II and Vietnam. Today, Sikhs in full religious garb serve in militaries around the world.
For centuries, Sikh teachings have required adherents to leave their hair and beard unshorn, and to wear a turban.
“It was a way to identify the Sikhs, who became a sort of military order that stood up against oppression,” said Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi, a doctor who is a major in the Army Reserve.
Major Kalsi got permission to grow a beard in 2009. He was the first of only three Sikhs to receive permission before Captain Singh.(IANS),
(Picture courtesy: NYT)
The MHRA states that its surveillance data does not support a link between changes to menstrual periods and Covid-19 vaccines, since the number of reports is low in relation to both the number of people vaccinated and the prevalence of menstrual disorders generally. However, the way in which data is collected makes firm conclusions difficult, Male noted.
She argued that approaches better equipped to compare rates of menstrual changes in vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations are needed, and pointed to the study that the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has undertaken. Indeed, the menstrual cycle may be affected by the body's immune response to the virus itself, with one study showing menstrual disruption in around a quarter of women infected with SARS-CoV2.
If a link between vaccination and menstrual changes is confirmed, this will allow individuals seeking vaccination to plan in advance for potentially altered cycles, Male contended. In the meantime, clinicians must encourage their patients to report any changes to periods or unexpected vaginal bleeding after vaccination. And anyone reporting a change in periods persisting over a number of cycles, or new vaginal bleeding after the menopause, should be managed according to the usual clinical guidelines for these conditions, she suggested. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: vaccine, menstrual cycle, period, covid, women, health
It began expanding outside of the United States in Canada in May 2019 and has now launched in India. So its become simple and easy for anyone to sell items from their closet, enabled by a full suite of end-to-end seller tools and services, including seamless listing, merchandising, promotion, pricing, and shipping. Indian consumers will be able to join Social marketplace Poshmark, Inc. (Nasdaq: POSH), a booming community of more than 80 million users and a vibrant network of millions of shoppable closets to make money, save money, connect with others, and foster entrepreneurship.
(Article originally written by: N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe)
Keywords: Clothes, garage, Poshmark, India, Old Delhi, social marketplace
Beak-shaped masks worn during the Great Plague of London Image source: wikimedia commons
Children are often seen forming circles by holding hands and reciting loudly,
Pockets full of posies
We all fall down"
An illustration of the Great Plague of London, 1665 Image source: wikimedia commons
Keywords: Rhymes, Ringa-ringa-roses, Great Plague of London, WWII, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Folklore