Op/Ed: EU Referendum And What It Means For the Sikhs

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With the EU Referendum around the corner, the question is should Britain remain within the European Union, or leave.
The European Union was formed in response to the two World Wars that had left the continent divided.  EU succeeded in bringing a continent together, working towards economic growth, political stability and alliance, and so on. And while there have been periods of regression, particularly with the 2008 recession, ultimately the EU has accomplished its initial objectives.

But what does this mean for British Sikhs?

The results of this referendum will have massive repercussions on how both Britain and Europe move forward. As a result, there has been a lot of misinformation and scaremongering spread, including the consequences for Sikhs if Britain chooses to remain.

There have been many difficulties surrounding the dastaar, amongst other issues, in countries such as France. But Britain has remained the best asset for the Sikhs in Europe. Regardless of what occurs in other European nations, Britain has set precedence and remained uninfluenced in regards to the rights of Sikhs. Britain has a special membership within the EU, it has many added benefits including more control.  Sikhs are able to practice Sikhi with freedom, without restrictions on the dastaar and kakaars. Essentially, Britain is the asset which best demonstrates how Europe should be in such terms.

Sikhi advocates working with others, as well as, fighting for our rights. Sikhs must use the political systems, the platforms provided by institutions such as the EU, in order to lobby and have their voices heard. If Britain leaves, Sikhs lose their best asset in gaining rights in Europe. Voting remain does not obstruct the rights of British Sikhs in any way; yet voting leave does hinder any chance of gaining Sikh rights in Europe.


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