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Excuse Me, Mr. Singh, But Is That a Bomb You're Wearing?


Mid-Day, New York, Oct. 26, 2002

Photo: Uday Benegal

What I would give for a picture of this. Recently a Sikh man filed a 60-million dollar lawsuit against the New York town of Islip, Southwest Airlines and an airport security firm for refusing him to let him board an aircraft if he didn't first take off his turban for a security check. Scared of the pagdi [turban] going off, the airport security staff refused to touch or run the metal detector over his holy headdress, demanding that he remove it first. The anguished Tejinder Singh Kahlon cried religious discrimination but to no avail. After a bit of a brouhaha an airline manager assured him that if he returned the next day he could take another flight without having to first undress his head. The trusting Kahlon took his word and came back a day later only to be given a dose of the same, missing a wedding as a result. Now, if that can get you 60 mammoth ones I'm starting my turban collection today!