Sarkozy has open mind on Sikhs wearing turbans in France: PM

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On Board Prime Minister's Special Aircraft, Oct 1 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said French President Nicolas Sarkozy had told him that he had an ''open mind'' on the issue of Sikhs wearing turbans in France and would have a relook at it.

Dr Singh, who the was speaking to mediapersons while returning after a 10-day tour of US and France, said he had told Mr Sarkozy that the turban was a very essential part of the Sikh way of life.

He said he raised the issue with the French President during their bilateral summit meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris yesterday.

''I did raise (the issue) with Mr Sarkozy. I had raised it in Delhi also. I raised it again and he said we have an open mind and will look at it,'' the Prime Minister said.

Mr Sarkozy was the chief guest at the Republic Day function this year.

Dr Singh added, ''Mr Sarkozy had an open mind in the light of what I had said. He said he will have a relook at it.'' At present, Sikh students in government-funded schools in France are not allowed to wear turbans.

The Prime Minister said the problem in France is that when Sikh children go to school, they are discouraged from wearing their turbans and when they seek identity cards, they are asked to remove them.

''These are some inconveniences that Sikhs face,'' he added.

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