The petitioner said that such jokes were demeaning and portrayed the Sikh community in poor light.

Cracking a Santa-Banta joke Watch out Supreme Court has its eyes on youImage source: Santa Banta Funny jokes/Facebook
news Saturday, October 31, 2015 - 09:22

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a PIL seeking direction to ban "Santa Banta" or "Sardar" jokes which, the petitioner said, portray the Sikh community in poor light.

The petitioner has asked for such jokes to be taken off from websites or ban the sites carrying them.

According a PTI report, the PIL filed by Sikh lawyer, Harvinder Chowdhury, states, "A writ of mandamus be issued to the respondent to ban websites 5,000 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."

A bench of Justices TS Thakur and V Gopala Gowda cited the humour that the Sikh community is generally known for while agreeing to examine the plea.

"This (Sikh) community is known for 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," PTI quotes the bench as saying.

Chowdhury however argued that why only a particular community was subject to such jokes which according to her are racial in nature.

"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 and Kaur after their name," the report quotes Chowdhury as saying.

According to the The Times of India, she also told the court that such jokes hurt religious sentiments of the community. “12 o'clock has a great significance in Sikh history but through these websites...(it) is referred to as a time when the brain and senses of a Sikh stop working."

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