India’s Supreme Court has sought suggestions on how to put a ban on jokes on Sikhs after petitioners filed a case seeking to stop the circulation of such jokes which they said hurt the dignity of followers of the religion.
The high court on Tuesday gave the petitioners, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee and Harvinder Chowdhury, six weeks for a direction on how to stop the jokes, the Huffington Post reported.
In hearing the petition, the court led by Chief Justice T.S. Thakur called the Sikhs the “pride of the nation”, citing prominent personalities the community had produced in the fields of governance, literature and the judiciary.
“We don’t want you to be shown as you are in less intellect than others … but tell us what can be done within the judicial dimension … some of your community people like Khushwant Singh has even written books on jokes,” The Hindu newspaper quoted Chief Justice Thakur as saying.
“You have given the country prime ministers like Manmohan Singh and presidents like Gyani Zail Singh. The next Chief Justice of India [Justice J.S. Khehar] is also a member of the community,” he said.
Chowdhury, a lawyer, has filed a public interest litigation with the Supreme Court seeking a ban on websites hosting the jokes on Sikhs.
She said the jokes have resulted in racial hatred and bullying targeting members of the Sikh community.
“But even if we pass orders against the circulation of such jokes, can it be enforced? Can you stop your own colleagues from cracking jokes on you?” the chief justice said.
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