Gurpreet Singh: Voters elected a record number of turbaned Sikhs in Canadian election

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      Those who attacked the wearing of a niqab at citizenship ceremonies are now licking their wounds.

      At the same time, the spectacular win of Liberal Party in the federal election means that there will be a record number of turbaned Sikh MPs.

      They are five MPs who werar turbans among the 17 Indo Canadians MPs elected in the 42nd parliamentary election.

      Whereas 15 of those of South Asian ancestry are Liberals, two are Conservatives. 

      Among the turbaned Sikh MPs are Liberals Navdeep Singh Bains and Raj Grewal from Ontario. Bains has served as an MP in the past.

      Likewise, two turbaned Sikh Liberal MPs, Harjit Singh Sajjan and Randeep Singh Sarai, were elected from B.C.

      In Calgary, Darshan Singh Kang, who also wears a turban, was elected as a Liberal.

      However, the first turbaned Sikh in cabinet, Conservative Tim Uppal, was defeated by Amarjit Sohi of the Liberal Party. Uppal was from Alberta, which is considered a Conservative stronghold.

      Interestingly, the previous government's decision to ban the niqab during citizenship ceremonies did not sit well with many minorities.

      If the victories of five turbaned Sikh Liberal MPs are any indication, it was a clear mandate against banning religious symbols.

      Notably in the past, Reform Party of Canada supporters (many of whom later became Conservatives) had objected to the recruitment of turbaned Sikhs in the RCMP.

      It is a separate matter that Uppal became the first turbaned federal minister to serve a Conservative government. He also adamantly supported the ban on niqab at citizenship ceremonies.

      Gurpreet Singh is a Georgia Straight contributor and a founder of Radical Desi. He's working on a book tentatively titled Canada's 9/11: Lessons from the Air India BombingsHe has a Facebook page called We Are All Untouchables!!! 

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