"No Hijab No Book" Hijab Controversy

"No Hijab No Book"

Hijab Controversy

It has been over 75 years since our country got independence, but still, the needle of the people of our country is stuck in the debate on Hindu-Muslim. Through our elders, you will find Hindu-Muslim discussions at every street intersection. But now it has come to the children, our children are giving priority to dress, instead of giving priority to studies in school. Whereas education is a weapon with which we can achieve anything. But now, education is being used to divide India into two pieces.

This blog is on the Hijab controversy, which started in Karnataka. After all, why is the slogan "No Hijab, No Book" used so much in Karnataka?

How did the Hijab start?

  • Hijab was introduced based on the need of women. The people of the Mesopotamian civilization used it. In the early period, linen cloth protected the head from intense sunlight, dust, and rain. It was tied on the head. It is also mentioned in an ancient Assyrian inscription written in the 13th century. However, later it was linked to religion. It was made compulsory for women, girls, and widows to wear. It came to be recognized as a symbol of respect for religion.
  • With time, there have been many changes in the Hijab. Hijabs began to be made more stylish. Different fashion designers made the Hijab so attractive that even in countries where it was not a trend, women started using it to make themselves look beautiful. And in today's time, more than half of the women wear Hijab only for fashion.

Where did the Hijab controversy begin?

  • The case of the Hijab started back in October 2021 in the Udupi district of Karnataka. At that time, this matter did not come to the media. After this, on December 31, 2021, some girl students of Government PU Girls College were not allowed in the class wearing Hijab. The college management asked these students to either remove their Hijab or go out of class. Principal Rudra Gowda did not enable girl students to sit in the class wearing Hijab and said that 'the decision was taken to maintain uniformity in the classes.
  • After this, those girls started protesting. The girl students were not allowed to attend classes in the college for 15 days after that. On January 19, the college administration called the parents of the students to the college to pacify the matter; in this meeting, no mid-way solution was found. The parents of those girl students also wanted to enter the college in Hijab. The next day, 5-6 girls wearing Hijab stood outside the college gate.
  • On February 8, 2022, in Karnataka, the state government announced the closure of high schools and colleges for three days after Muslim girl students wore a Hijab in Karnataka.
  • After this, such incidents came to light from many colleges in Karnataka. And both scarves and hijabs were not given entry by the college administration. On February 11, the Supreme Court of India refused to hold an urgent hearing.
  • Hijab is still a topic of discussion on social media and in schools and colleges across the country. Girls wearing Hijab, saffron headdresses, and turban-clad youths are seen protesting on the internet. The most surprising thing about this is that no students who oppose it are adults.
  • The court observed, "Moreover, the contention that wearing Hijab is a matter of wearing a dress cannot be said to be included in the basic belief of Islamic faith. The person will be guilty of sin. The petitioners have miserably failed to meet the legal requirement that wearing the Hijab is a mandatory activity in the Islamic religion."
  • In this, it was argued on behalf of the petitioner that when wearing a Hijab is allowed in Kendriya Vidyalaya, why is wearing a Hijab not permitted in the state college?
  • The court said, "If this argument is accepted, the school uniform will no longer be uniform. There will be a division of girl students, one wearing the uniform with the Hijab and the other without the Hijab. This will lead to social isolation." The atmosphere will be created, which is not what we want. Moreover, to do so would be against the essential spirit of uniform which aims at establishing uniformity, such uniformity in which the student's religion has no role."

The single bench of the Karnataka High Court has referred the matter to a larger bench. While giving directions, Justice Krishna Dixit said that whether the students have to get interim relief or not, a larger bench will also decide.

The Constitution of the country:

  • Article 25 to 28 of the Constitution mentions the fundamental right to freedom of religion, which Article 25(1) gives the right to profess, practice, and propagate any religion. 
  • Article 25 gives two types of rights on the freedom of religion. The first right is the freedom of conscience. The second right is about the free practice and propagation of religion. However, to maintain public order, it has also given powers to the state to curb.

Saffron scarf in response to hijab:

When Muslim girls wanted to enter wearing hijab, in protest, the students started insisting on going to school wearing saffron-colored scarves. Children cannot do this work because they can all get the same saffron scarf in one night. All this is the work of some political party that worked to instigate them.

Political color of the matter:

  • All political parties saw the Hindu-Muslim angle in this and started a debate. This is why this controversy has now started taking a political color. Some political party has supported Muslim girls on their right to wear Hijab. 
  • Politics has heated up over the Hijab controversy in Karnataka. The ruling BJP and Congress are face to face on this. BJP's stand is a religious symbol (BJP stand on Karnataka Hijab Controversy). He has favored the dress code (uniform) fixed in educational institutions and colleges. On the contrary, Congress (Congress stands on Karnataka Hijab Controversy) has supported Muslim girls.

Four questions before the High Court:

When the Karnataka High Court heard the matter, four questions came before him:

  1. The first question is, is the Hijab or head covering compulsory from the point of view of Islam? And whether there is protection under Article 25 of the Constitution or not. In this context, the Karnataka High Court said that wearing Hijab is not mandatory according to Islam. And this does not happen under essential religious practice.
  2. Second question, does the rule of one uniform violate that fundamental right of the petitioners? Which follows from Article 19 and Article 21 of our Constitution. The Karnataka High Court said the school uniform limits people's freedom, but the child cannot object to this limit. And deciding so is valid under the Constitution.
  3. The third question was whether the state government's decision on February 5 was arbitrary. Has this decision violated Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution? So, in this, the High Court has given the decision given by the government regarding the school uniform. It is just and right.
  4. The fourth question was whether any action should be taken against the teachers who stopped the girl students from wearing the Hijab in the college. In this, the High Court said that the petitioners had not made any such demand.

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