Jaswant Singh Birdi, a turbaned Sikh, Assumes Role of Lord Mayor in Coventry

by Antariksh Singh

Cllr Jaswant Singh Birdi has stepped into the esteemed position of Lord Mayor in the vibrant City of Coventry.

During the Annual General Meeting held at Coventry Cathedral, Cllr Birdi, who previously served as Deputy Lord Mayor for the past 12 months, was presented with the esteemed Chains of Office. He takes the helm from Cllr Kevin Maton, who served diligently in this role.

Cllr Mal Mutton has been appointed as the Deputy Lord Mayor for the upcoming year.

Having dedicated 17 years to public service as a councillor in Coventry, Cllr Birdi has represented the Bablake Ward for the past nine years. Prior to this, he served two terms in the Hillfields Ward during the 1990s.

Cllr Birdi’s wife, Krishna, assumes the role of Lady Mayoress.

Born in a village in the Panjab region of northern India, Cllr Birdi spent his childhood in Lahore, Pakistan, and Calcutta, West Bengal, as his family sought employment opportunities. In the mid-1950s, he immigrated with his parents to Kenya, East Africa, where he received his primary and secondary education. Later on, in the 1960s, he moved to the UK to pursue further studies.

Beyond his responsibilities as a councillor, Cllr Birdi has been actively involved in establishing religious, social, and community initiatives within the city.

Remarkably, he becomes the first Lord Mayor of Coventry to don a turban, symbolizing his Sikh faith.

Expressing his pride, Cllr Birdi stated, “I am deeply honored to serve as the Lord Mayor of my cherished adopted city. Coventry has given my family and me so much over the years, and it fills me with great joy to showcase the city’s splendor and the incredible people who call it home.”

“As a Sikh, it holds tremendous significance for me to wear the Chains of Office and my turban. This will exemplify the harmonious multicultural environment that thrives in our city, and perhaps even inspire others,” he added.

For his term, Cllr Birdi has designated the Muscular Dystrophy charity, the Coventry Resource Centre for the Blind, and the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Charity as his chosen beneficiaries.

Antariksh Singh

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