CHANDIGARH/LONDON: December 11, 2012 marked a new chapter in the British history when 25-year old youth Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar became the first in history to wear a turban instead of the traditional headwear at the Buckingham Palace.
Bhullar could be easily distinguished among his fellow Scots Guardsmen in the parade who wore bearskin as headgear. Earlier, Sikhs have guarded the Queen many times but Bhullar is the first one to retain his religious symbols.
Former builder from West Bromwich, an elated Bhullar who dreamt of joining Army ever since he came to know that his grandfather had fought in the first World War, described guarding the queen as the best thing in his life. Though some soldier opine that the regiment and its traditions should be given preference above one’s personal beliefs, Bhullar differs and says, “Conducting public duties while being a practising Sikh and wearing my turban is a great honour for me."
“I am very proud to be a member of the Household Division and to be the first Sikh Guardsman to mount guard in a turban will be the best thing in my life, especially as a member of the Scots Guards. The regiment is full of history, as is my religion.”
Bhullar has joined F Company Scots Guards – also known as ‘Incremental Company’ responsible for delivering ceremonial duties in London.
Not only Bhullar sports his turban, he has never shorn his beard as well. Mandeep Kaur, Sikh Chaplain to the Armed Forces, has welcomed induction of Bhullar as Scots Guardsmen.
It may be recalled that earlier Bhullar had to bear abuse and taunts from the fellow soldiers for retaining his religious symbols and a facebook group has also been set up in hi support whch describes him as ‘credit to the nation’.
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