After Delhi, Sikh women in Chandigarh will soon be exempted from wearing helmets while driving two-wheelers with the union Home Ministry green-signaling the Chandigarh administration to make an exception for them.
"We had appealed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh I and am glad that the Home Ministry has agreed to our demand," said Sukhbir Singh Badal leader of Siromani Akali Dal (SAD), an ally of the BJP.
The Home Ministry has instructed Chandigarh administration to follow a similar notification issued by Delhi Government that had exempted Sikh women from wearing protective headgear while driving two wheelers in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
"This is in response to the representations Home Minister received from various Sikh organisations," a senior Home Ministry functionary told NDTV.
The Delhi government had amended rules under Delhi Motor Vehicle Act 1993 to make it optional for women "whether riding on pillion or driving motorcycle to wear a protective headgear" in 1999. This rule was further amended in August 2014 to extend the exemption to Sikh women. Many Sikh organisations have lauded the move.
"A Sikh-- man or woman can't wear any kind of hat as it is prohibited strictly in the code of conduct for Sikhs. So, no Sikh woman can wear helmet," said one of the office bearers of the SAD women wing. "Death is certain and it will come when it has to whether you wear a helmet or not," she said.