NEW DELHI: In a move that could lead to demands from various religious communities to display their key symbols, state-run Air India has painted its tail wing with the Sikh symbol (Ek Onkar).
The decision was taken by the airline management to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev.
Sources said one aircraft would display the Ek Onkar symbol which represents the one supreme reality and is a central tenet of Sikh religious philosophy.
"This is a very controversial decision. Tomorrow, Muslims may demand for displaying their symbols. In a secular country such steps should be avoided," said a government official.
Meanwhile, Minister of Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal welcomed Air India's decision.
"Delighted that @airindiain is celebrating the #550th ParkashPurab of Guru Nanak Dev ji by painting Ek Onkar symbol on its aircraft. It represents the fundamental teaching of Sikhism that "God is one". The entire #Sikh community is proud of this humble tribute," she wrote on Twitter.
Delighted that @airindiain is celebrating the #550thParkashPurab of Guru Nanak Dev ji by painting ੴ (Ek Onkar symbol) on its aircrafts. It represents the fundamental teaching of Sikhism that "God is one". The entire #Sikh community is proud of this humble tribute. pic.twitter.com/NxMbAegzrb— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) October 26, 2019
Earlier this month, national carrier Air India had paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary by painting his image on an Airbus A320 aircraft.