30th March 2018   •   article
Sikhs shocked after Gurdwara forces paralysed man to sit outside during wedding

by Barfi Culture Team | @barfi_culture.
Image: Lux Phull/Twitter
British Sikhs expressed shock on social media today after a paralysed man said he was forced to sit outside while his cousin's wedding took place.

Lux Phull said he was forced to sit outside the main hall at his cousin’s wedding and not allowed to sit in his chair, which he needs for his paralysed body.

He said the incident took place today at Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara in Slough, a town to the west of London.

He added he was "gutted and sad" and had been waiting for this day all year.

"Reasons they gave were crazy, not gonna let this go, not just for me but everyone with a disability," he added on Twitter. "Can’t believe we live in a world where ppl are discriminated by disabilities. Thought our religion treated us as one."

Other Sikhs said they were appalled.

Barfi Culture has reached out to the Gurdwara in question, to the Sikh Council UK and the MP for Slough, Tan Dhesi, for comment. None have returned calls yet.

It isn't the first time this controversy has arisen. Last year a Gurdwara in Wolverhampton was forced to remove screens that separated disabled Sikhs after settling a court case. Five Sikhs had taken the Gurdwara to court claiming discrimination.

Wheelchair users say they have had no problems in Southall or Shepherds Bush, London, but not all Gurdwaras have the same policy. For years disabled people have reported discrimination at various Sikh places of worship.

Sikhs believe that no one should be sitting higher than the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh scripture. But in 2016 the Sikh Council held a meeting in London in which, it later said in a press release, there was unanimous support among Gurdwaras for making adjustments for disabled people.

Sikh activists also say there is clear religious support for accommodating disabled people

This article has been updated with more background information.
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