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FIRST SOLIDER NOT TO WEAR A BEARSKIN BECAUSE HIS IS A SIKH – The Ministry of Defense (MOD) has announced that Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar, 25, has been allowed to break hundreds of years of tradition by not wearing a Bearskin when guarding Buckingham Palace, due to his religious beliefs.

The Ministry of Defense (MOD) has announced that Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar, 25, has been allowed to break hundreds of years of tradition by not wearing a Bearskin when guarding Buckingham Palace, due to his religious beliefs.

Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar, 25, is a British Citizen by birth and from the photograph it is clear to see that he, and his fellow serviceman, is proud to be part of the British Army.  However the move has caused a fair amount of controversy, regarding permitting a British Solider to guard Buckingham Palace, without wearing the traditional Bearskin; but instead a traditional Sikh Turban.

Now we often talk about ‘Tradition’ but how far does the tradition of wearing a Bearskin go back?  The Scots Guard regiment can trace its origins back to 1642 and its soldiers have worn bearskins on parade since 1832.  That’s a lot of tradition, in anyone’s eyes, whichever way you look at it.

So what’s all the fuss about?  Here’s a young man, who clearly is proud to be British and wants to serve his country.  Since the colonial days of the Empire we have seen Sikh’s serve the Crown and fought alongside their comrades.  It really doesn’t matter what the colour of your skin is or what your religious beliefs are, the bottom line is we all bleed red.

From the history that I have read over the years the Sikh’s have played a vital role in securing the interests of the Great Britain so why should this article ever of needed writing. Why can we simply not accept that this young man wants to do his part for the security of Great Britain and our Monarch?

The truth of the matter is the article is not about the colour of his skin but more about his religious belief.  Traditionally Great Britain is a Christian country, not a Sikh, Muslim or any other one of the religions out there.  Therefore, many believe that Jatinderpal Singh Bhullar should put aside his religious beliefs and move with what is clearly traditional for a Scots Guard in Her Majesties Armed Forces.

On premises that Mr Bhullar is permitted to wear a Turban, instead of the traditional Bearskin, would the same principle apply for someone being part of the Hare Krishna religion and be allowed to wear a robe and sandals?

From the comments I’ve read surrounding this issue it appears that most British people view this as Political Correctness gone mad and that Mr Bhullar should put aside his religious beliefs and wear the Bearskin… if not find another profession.

One other photograph of Mr Bhullar shows that during his training he was wearing his Turban, but for health and safety reasons, was also wearing a hard hat helmet, in which some are pointing out that if he can do this then why can he not wear a Bearskin over his Turban?  Is Mr Bhullar just shirking tradition for the sake of his 15 minutes of fame?  There are even more comments that say that if Mr Bhullar’s Turban and his religious beliefs are that important maybe he does NOT belong in the Scots Guards.

Personally I am all for Mr Bhullar joining the Scots Guards.  His father and many other Sikh’s have honoured Great Britain with their service and in many cases their lives, but I also think that Tradition in the UK is what bonds us together as a nation and once this is allowed to be destroyed we lose sight of who we are, what we represent as a nation.  If the decision was down to me I would impose tradition and insist that the Bearskin was worn as I am sure a Bearskin could be made to accommodate his religious head dress.


In an update to this article we now have video of Mr Bhullar on parade in the Scots Guards.

It is therefore clear that ‘Political Correctness’ will override any British traditions.  Again, while I have no problem with Mr Bhullar being a member of the Scots Guard I do feel he should have erred on the side of tradition and put his religious beliefs to one side and conformed to what is acceptable to British Tradition – I personally feel he looks out of place and makes a mockery of the British tradition.  I feel it is a sad day for our identity and one where tradition is slowly eroding what’s left of the British pride.

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  • Donna Wozny

    I vote for tradition. As you said, it is a foundation that for years has shown pride and honor both by the one wearing the bearskin and the people of the country they represent. Merely wanting to be an honor guard in name only begins to dilute the very importance of the position and reveals a rebellion in the heart of My Bhullar. I wonder if a turban can be made out of bearskin?
    I shake my head wondering about the position being given to a Muslim who must fall to his knees in prayer 5 times a day…would this also be acceptable?