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Conflict of faith?


Meet physician Sanjeet Singh-Saluja and his brother Ranjeet Singh-Saluja, a neurosurgeon. The Singh-Saluja brothers are both members of the Sikh religion. They had to make a very difficult decision, By choosing between their major pillars of faith. Sewa is one of them, which means ‘selfless service’. It involves acting selflessly and helping others in any way possible, without any reward or personal benefit. The other major pillar of Sikhism is Kesh. It is the practice of allowing one’s hair to grow naturally out of respect for the perfection of God’s creation.

The pandemic put the 2 brothers in such a situation that they had to choose between these pillars of faith. The virus made it compulsory for both of them to wear N-95 masks but they were unable to do so because of their beards. they faced a conundrum, to either shave their beards or not be a part of the frontline heroes. Choosing either of them would violate a pillar of their faith.

Sikh doctor shaves beard to help in COVID-19 fight

To come to a conclusion, the Singh-Saluja brothers discussed their dilemma with the spiritual leaders of their faith along with friends and family. After weeks of soul searching and sleepless nights the brothers finally decided to shave their beards.


“We could choose not to work, but in a time when healthcare workers are falling sick, we would be adding stress to an already taxed system,” Sanjeet said in a video posted by the McGill University Health Centre.

“We could decide to simply refuse to see COVID-19 patients until viable protection is available to us, but that goes against our oath as physicians and against the principles of Sewa,” he continued.

“It’s a decision that has left me with much sadness,” Sanjeet told the Montreal Gazette. “This was something that had been so much part of my identity. I look at myself in the mirror very differently now. Every morning when I see myself, it’s a bit of a shock.”

“But because COVID-19 has become so rampant in our community, it just wasn’t feasible anymore (not to wear an N95 mask). There are so many people coming in. I felt I just couldn’t sit on the sidelines. This was an exception to the rule, so we had to do what we had to do to help out,” he said.


The world definitely needs more frontline workers or superheroes (as the netizens prefer to say) like Sing-Saluja brothers. They have set an example for a lot of us to help serve the mankind.

Merci, Dr. Saluja



image source -Indsamachar /  via Impact de Montreal / YouTube


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