Hijab controversy meaningless

Rama Krishna Sangem

The entire world has seen how a girl student with hizab in a Karnataka government college was heckled by a group of male students. Leave alone the merits of wearing hijab, a head covering by Muslim women. The picture of several boys shouting and chasing a girl haunted us all. Now, there are protests all over the country for and against hijab.

It is a fact that Muslim girls and women wear hijab in public places. We also know, BJP or saffron outfits in general oppose this practice, on the grounds of religious propagation. Some right wing intellectuals say, hijab is a way of confining Muslim women to four walls of their homes. In a way, this is an oppression of Muslim women’s rights, they say.

Some Muslim intellectuals like the late Asghar Ali Engineer have said the choice of wearing hijab should be left to Muslim women, not others. It’s none of others’ job. Interestingly, several Muslim girls who participated in a protest in Hyderabad against Karnataka incident said hijab is their right. A girl said banning hijab is a violation of Article 25 of Constitution of India. She is right.

Karnataka government led by BJP and its supporters say educational institutions should not be allowed for religious practices. Every student should follow a dress code as decided by the schools and colleges. They have a point. But, this dress code should not be forced on religious minorities. We have seen how Sikhs protested against wearing turban in the UK, Canada etc.

Polarisation is solution

Ironically, many non-Muslims including supporters of BJP too feel this entire controversy over hijab is unnecessary and meaningless. There shall not be any row over a religious practice of an ethnic group or minorities. A Hindu boy or girl wearing tilak should be a controversy just as a Muslim girl covering her head in public.

BJP and its front organisation do not understand that their ways of securing public support through religious polarisation is not a good idea. Many Hindus too don’t like this kind of controversies. Particularly, victimising Muslim girl students in colleges or schools shall be condemned. See, how a large crowd of boys with saffron flags chased a single girl. Of course, she gave a strong reply to them

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at excelindiaweb123@gmail.com