February,17,2016: Reassuring the Sikh community that they are the “Pride of the Nation,” the Supreme Court on Tuesday wondered how it is possible for courts to stop people from cracking or circulating online Sardar jokes.
Instead, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur said they were no less than others and pointed to prominent personalities the Sikhs had produced in the fields of governance, literature and even 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,” Chief Justice Thakur said.
“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 who is CJI-in-line as per seniority norm] is also a member of the community,” the Chief Justice said.
The court was hearing petitions filed by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee and advocate Harvinder Chowdhury for a direction to stop these jokes which, they said, hurt the dignity of the Sikh community. They even suggested the court frame guidelines and order sensitisation programmes.
“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 CJI wondered aloud.