Hindu Council UK’s support helped to reinstate the Job

via Press Release published on October 7, 2007



Amrit Lalji, the Hindu woman sacked from her job for wearing a tiny nose stud, has thanked the Hindu Council UK (HCUK) for helping her get her job back. HCUK has also received a letter of thanks from Ian Griffiths, the London Region Branch Secretary for the GMB union who supported her in her campaign to be reinstated.

Amrit Lalji had worked in the VIP lounge at Heathrow’s Terminal One for over a year when her employers, Eurest, asked her to remove the stud, saying wearing it was company policy on body piercings. When Mrs Lalji refused, saying the stud held religious significance for her, showing she was a married women within the Hindu faith, Eurest suspended and subsequently sacked her. 

On hearing news of Anrit Lalji’s sacking, HCUK sprang to her defence, releasing a statement to the media saying that many Hindu women have their nose pierced and fitted with a stud for their wedding as part of the Shringar ritual and, as Eurest allowed wedding bands and sleepers in the ears to be worn at work, there was no reason why she should not be allowed to wear her nose stud.

Subsequently, HCUK was contacted by GMB asking for scriptural clarification on the matter, which was supplied by Dr Raj Pandit Sharma, HCUK’s executive member for Hindu Ceremonies.  Dr Sharma pointed out that the Shringar ritual at the time of a woman’s marriage bestows sixteen different ‘marks of a married woman’ on the bride, of which one is the wearing of a nose stud.  

Dr Sharma told the GMB:

“For females the piercing of the nose as soon as puberty, or before marriage, is stipulated in Hindu Scriptures such as Sushruta Samhita (Chikitsa Sthana Chapter 19).  According to the Hindu Ayurvedic scriptures, the piercing of the nose near a particular node (marma) on the nostril lessens the pains of a woman’s monthly cycle and facilitates childbirth.  These crucial nodes on the human body are known as ‘marma’, not dissimilar to acupuncture points.

In the religious context, at marriage the bride and a married woman are considered the personification of the Hindu goddess of fortune Lakshmi, this transformation being achieved by the sixteen beautification processes known as Shodash Shringar.”

Yesterday, Eurest reinstated Amrit Lalji, after admitting her sacking had been a mistake.

In response to the news, Anil Bhanot, General Secretary of the HCUK says:

“It is good to see how the legislation on religion in the workplace is being put into practice. Britain is clearly set to become a much richer place as our culture is beginning to assimilate the beauty of God’s diversity.”

Amrit lalji will return to work on Sunday.

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