This (Sikh) community is known for its great sense of humour and they also enjoy such jokes. You must have gone through the jokes of Khushwant Singh…

The ‘Santa Banta’ jokes came under the lens of the Supreme Court on Friday with the court agreeing to hear a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking direction to ban websites displaying jokes on Sardars and projecting them in poor light.”This (Sikh) community is known for its great sense of humour and they also enjoy such jokes. You must have gone through the jokes of Khushwant Singh…”This is only an amusement. Why do you want it to be stopped?… Prepare your case well. We will hear you,” a bench comprising Justices T S Thakur and V Gopala Gowda said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A woman lawyer, Harvinder Chowdhary, who filed the PIL said that there are more than 5,000 websites which display jokes on Sardars.Chowdhury has sought direction to telecom ministry to to filter websites which target the Sikh community as it is violative of Sections 153A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code.”All the jokes relating to Sikh community should be stopped. My children are humiliated and feel embarrassed and they don’t want to suffix Singh or Kaur to their names,” Chowdhury said.Referring to a recent comment by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during campaign for Bihar assembly polls that all Biharis are intelligent people, the lawyer said that it reflected as if other communities were not intelligent.To this the bench said,”Don’t worry, when he goes to Punjab, he will say Sikhs are intelligent.”The petitioner said Sikhs suffer humiliation not only in the country but also abroad due to the jokes projecting Sardars as people of low intellect, stupid or fools.”The websites hurt the religious sentiments of Sikhs… After being ridiculed in Europe and America, several Sikhs were forced to cut their hair and change their attire due to the environment created by these websites,” the petitioner said. Being from the Sikh community, Chowdhary said, she and family members have suffered racism not only in India but also in Europe and France during their stay there.She said as a single parent, she found that her three young children (a son and two daughters) were ridiculed by their friends abroad.”The root cause of racism was the environment created by the websites due to the jokes targeting only Sikhs…It is difficult to enjoy the association of other communities.””A writ of mandamus be issued to the respondent to ban the 5,000-odd websites which spread jokes on Sardars/Sikhs projecting them as unintelligent, stupid, idiot, foolish, naive, inept not well versed with English…on the ground that it violates fundamental right to life and to live with dignity guaranteed under article 21 of the Constitution,” the plea said.Chowdhary argued for nearly half-an-hour and tried to convince the court that even the lawyers in the Supreme Court corridor crack jokes on Sardars and not always in a hilarious manner.After hearing the petitioner, the bench asked her to come prepared with case laws on the issue and satisfy the court for a direction to the Centre to take action against the websites and for immediate ban on those jokes. Not the first timeHarvinder Chowdhary in her PIL claimed that in 2002 she had written to the heads of educational institutions to take appropriate steps to create awareness among the teachers and students to stop circulating the jokes on Sikhs. It cited the names of popular websites on jokes and alleged violation of the fundamental rights.

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‘Santa Banta’ jokes come under Supreme Court scanner