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Hijab is your right in your home not in a college

I am of the view that every woman has a right to wear the attire of their choice, whether it is out of their own free will or subliminally forced

I do not believe it is fair for a woman to be forced to wear attire due to religious or cultural compulsion. But if she makes the choice out of her own free will, knowing that it is a religious or cultural compulsion then it is her choice to make and not mine to interfere.

I do not believe Muslim women should live their lives in a Hijab. To my rational mind, it is a regressive religious practice, whether it is religiously justified through Islamic scriptures or not. But if Muslim women would allow for themselves to be submissive to the diktats of their religious indoctrination and practices, then it is her choice.

However, the choice of Muslim women to wear a Hijab out of their own free will, should not be accepted in a school or college, in which children of different religious and cultural backgrounds also co-exist.

A school or a college is an institution of learning and in an educational institution, all children are equal. Therefore, most schools ensure that all children have a school uniform. There should be no bias or prejudice on the basis of religious beliefs or cultural practices in an educational institution.

The controversy around the Hijab and murmurs of the trampling on the religious rights of Muslim women is a drummed-up controversy to create an unwarranted communal tension amongst the Hindu and Muslim youth in the country.

Every girl child has a right to a good education and it is the duty of the government to ensure that a child receives a formidable education. But when religious orthodoxy takes over education in the brainwashed minds of the young it is important for the true definition of the word ‘Secular’ in the Constitution of India that must be acted upon.

Contrary to the popular projected meaning of the word ‘secular’. Secularism is not the acceptance of all religions in matters of governance. It is the acceptance of no religion in the matters of governance of a state. To be secular is to have no prejudices on the basis of caste or creed against a citizen of nation, it is to see a citizen as a citizen.

India is a secular nation. Educational institutions run by the government must live up to the secular principles enshrined in our Constitution. It must not allow the religious beliefs of a student that allows a student to dress in an attire that conflicts with the uniform of the educational institute to become an acceptable norm, because then every student will use the excuse of its religion to disturb the uniformity of practices in an educational institution and also trample upon the secular fabric of the nation.

Imagine if a young student who is a follower of the religious practices of Naga Sadhus were to adhere to the austerities of the Naga Sadhus in dressings at schools and colleges. I am not sure if people would have accepted this in any school and college. But to not accept a student who follows the religious beliefs of the Naga Sadhus should also be allowed to turn up at schools and colleges without a school uniform but in their God-given natural uniform.

The Hijab controversy in my opinion is a controversy stirred up by certain people from the Muslim communities under the insistence of their political controllers to create communal tension in India by demonizing the Hindu and its Hindu-majority government while portraying the Muslim minorities are victims of religious prejudices and hatred.

The Karnataka High Court decision is one hope that India as a nation will not be dictated by religiously regressive practices but the laws of equality enshrined in our Constitution.

I am certain that the Hijab controversy is not over yet. Some sections of the Muslim community will want to keep the flames of communal tension burning to ensure there is a political gain to their political patrons. They will approach the Supreme Court seeking justice.

Just like in the Shaheen Bhag controversy, enemies of India used women to create a crisis; in the Hijab controversy too enemies of India are using young college-going women as shoulders to shoot from their religious bigotry plans and political destabilising intent.

India is a secular nation and we must keep our educational institution devoid of regressive religious practices and religious practices in entirety.

 

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Savio Rodrigues

Savio Rodrigues Founder & Editor-in-Chief GoaChronicle.com
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