Friday, 12 February 2010

Kirpan or Sgian Dubh?

Are knives dangerous weapons or implements for gentler activities like spreading butter on bread? The answer of course is both, but anything can be dangerous in the wrong hands or in the wrong circustances. I took photographs at a wedding yesterday and the groom wore a kilt. He told me that the sgian dubh, that he carried (the knife in his stocking) was not sharp because of health and safety regulations. I think that was what he said but he definitely couldn't carry a sharp knife. The Sikhs have a similar knife called a kirpan and this was in the news earlier in the week because a Sikh judge had stated that the ceremonial dagger should be allowed in places like schools.

When I was at school knives weren't allowed. It may be that every Sikh youngster is sensible and would not harm anything or any person with their ceremonial knife. It may be that no non-Sikh would do harm with a kirpan. However we live in a much more politically correct time. If we allow Sikhs to carry knives then shouldn't we allow anyone else to do the same including Scottish pupils?

My opinion is that we shouldn't encourage youngsters to carry knives and there may be a compromise as with Scottish formal dress. Can the kirpan have a blunt edge? This wasn't the answer earlier in the week for the judge Sir Mota Singh, but, to put it bluntly (sorry), blunt edges should apply equally to the Scots, to the Sikhs and to anyone else who wants to carry a knife in school.

Change the world

No comments:

Post a Comment