Features, People & Parties, Social

Waris Ahluwalia, Designer, Actor…Social Activist?

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Airport security protocols are getting difficult with each passing day. However the problems faced by a common passenger as he or she undergoes multiple screenings at an airport do not make headlines; we’ve gotten used to the cumbersome process. Not this one time though, Waris Ahluwalia is an Indian-American actor and designer who couldn’t get on board his scheduled flight because he refused to take of his Sikh turban. This headgear is of immense religious value to the Sikh community, men in particular. Visiting Mexico for an art fair, Ahluwalia was catching flight back to NYC when he was subjected to a thorough security screening and then asked to remove his turban for a detailed inspection, the actor had had enough and said so. At this time he was told that he could not board any Aeromexico plane and arrange to travel with some other airline. He returned to his hotel, and took his complaint online, posting it on his Instagram. Within hours the post had prompted airline executives to track him down and offer him to get on board the next available flight to NYC. After an express apology over the incident, Aeromexico has vowed to revise its security protocols to respect the cultural and religious sensibilities of its passengers as well as is staff to undergo a ‘sensitivity training’ on religious headwear. The whole incident, Ahluwalia maintained was not about the fact that he was denied boarding his flight, it was “the reality of the situation is that it could have happened anywhere — and it has happened everywhere.” Waris Ahluwalia is the founding designer of the House of Waris, and was a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist in 2009 and a year later inducted as an official member of the CFDA. He was also included on Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List in the same year, following it up with an inclusion in Vogue’s 10 Most Impactful people list. He has modeled for Gap’s ‘Make Love campaign’ and also acted alongside Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Owen Wilson in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and late last year was directed by Deepa Mehta in her movie Beeba Boys. Image credit: The Sartorialist     

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