Skeptic News: Religious row over tobacco

20120703-165721.jpgIn India the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the highest Sikh religious body, has written to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, protesting the use of Guru Nanak Dev’s pictures on tobacco pouches of a company based in the state.

Chitrakoot-based Kumar Enterprises had printed the Guru’s pictures on tobacco pouches and named them as Giani Paan Samagri. SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said:

“In Sikhism, most learned people are called Giani. How can a tobacco pouch carry a word like Giani?” asked Makkar. He said if a Sikh uses tobacco, he or she ceases to be a part of the community.

The use of tobacco is prohibited according to the Sikh rehat maryada (code of conduct). “We demand speedy trial, severe and exemplary punishment to those involved in hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs,” he said. Makkar said it was a shameful and unethical act of hurting the Sikh sentiments.

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0 Responses to Skeptic News: Religious row over tobacco

  1. They are quite right to complain. To get this in perspective, remember that Guru Nanak Dev was the founder of the Sikh religion.

    To say nothing of lung cancer.

  2. Jatinderpal singh says:

    It is intentional, Deliberate, mischevious attempt to offend and cause hurt to sikh sentiments, precipitators should be seriuously punished , as this can cause diaturbance of peace of nation. As tobbaco is very strictly prohibitted in sikhism and naming GIANI PAAN SAMIGRI and with supposed pic of guru nanak devjee is definitely a mischievious act calls for severe punishment.

  3. Alex Wassall says:

    Not sure I agree; Muslims find any image of Muhammad to be offensive regardless of context, should anyone who uses a picture of Muhammad be seriuously punished?

    Are Christians right to complain about campaigns like Zombie Jesus Day?

    I agree that it is an insensitive use of that word, but isn’t free speech about giving everyone the right to say whatever they want as long as it dose not advocate or encourage hatred or violence?

    Is it not the responsibility of the listener/reader/viewer to look away if they do not like what someone else has said/printed/drawn?

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