KARNATAKA – HIJAB ROW
A writ petition was filed by a student of Women’s Government Pre-University College in Udipi for allowing entering into the college wearing Hijab. The ruling party in Karnataka is BJP and it banned the clothes that can religious in nature and said to “disturb the equality, integrity and public order”. The BJP’s State President said that the Government will not allow Hijab into the educational institutions.
The petitioner along with six other students were not allowed to enter her educational institution stating that wearing a Hijab is in violation of the dress code as it is religious in nature and tend to disturb the equality, integrity and public order. The petitioner along with other students sat outside gate of that educational institution, but they were still not allowed to enter into the classes. The college management had spoken with the parents of those students to not send their wards with Hijab, but the parents also insisted on allowing their wards with Hijab.
On January 31, 2022 the petitioner had approached the High Court seeking interim order to allow the students wearing Hijab into the classes until the whole matter is resolved. The petitioner has argued that wearing Hijab was her Fundamental Right guaranteed under Article 14 and 25 of the Constitution of India. She stated that not allowing students to practice their religion and not allowing the students to enter the classrooms doesn’t serve the public interest. The state government has constituted an expert committee to look into this issue.
In many cases like Nadha Raheem v. CBSE, Amnah Bint Basheer v. CBSE, the courts gave alternative solutions to the situations where they banned Hijab without affecting the religious sentiments. Kerala High Court single bench order granted permission to Muslim girls to wear the Hijab, a customary religious dress, for All India Pre-Medical Test, 2016 (AIPMET). In Fathima Thasneem v. State of Kerala, it was stated that wearing Hijab is an essential religious practice.
In some colleges, the girls were allowed into the college with Hijab. In the response some of the students wore saffron scarves as a protest against allowing the students wearing Hijab. Before the introduction of such law banning clothes that are religious, everything was peaceful among the students. This entire situation got worse only after banning clothes that are religious.
In a similar case of Bijoe Emmanuel v. State of Kerala, the Kerala High Court has allowed the Muslim child to only stand during the National Anthem, as her religion doesn’t allow singing any other song irrelevant to her religion. The Court stated that not singing the National Anthem doesn’t mean disrespecting the nation. So, in the same way the author thinks that wearing a Hijab doesn’t disturb the equality, integrity and public order. According to the view of the author, the students have the right to practice their own religion as enshrined under the Article 25 of the Constitution of India. So, according to the author, the students should be allowed to wear Hijab to the classroom in the same way keeping Bindi on the forehead is allowed.
Karnataka – Hijab Row Case by Velanati Jyothirmai @ Lex Cliq