Report Wire - Hijab row: Karnataka order on uniform “religion neutral”, says govt; blames PFI for bother 

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Hijab row: Karnataka order on uniform “religion neutral”, says govt; blames PFI for bother 

9 min read
Hijab ban row: Petitioners allege "pattern" to marginalise minority community 

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Karnataka authorities order that kicked up a row over hijab was “religion-neutral”, the state authorities advised the Supreme Court on Tuesday, launching a robust defence of the state and blaming the PFI for the controversy it claimed was a part of a “larger conspiracy”. 

Insisting that the agitation in help of sporting hijab in instructional establishments was not a “spontaneous act” by a couple of people, it stated the state authorities would have been “guilty of dereliction of constitutional duty” if it had not acted the way in which it did.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, showing for Karnataka, advised the courtroom the Popular Front of India (PFI) began a marketing campaign on social media which was designed to create an agitation primarily based on “religious feelings of the people”.

The PFI is broadly seen as a hardline Muslim organisation and has been blamed for a number of incidents of communal violence, scary requires imposing a nationwide ban on it.

The organisation itself has rejected the allegations.

Mehta advised a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia that the PFI began the social media marketing campaign over the Islamic headband earlier this yr and there have been steady social media messages asking college students to “start wearing hijab”.

“In 2022, a movement started on the social media by an organisation called the Popular Front of India and the movement, as an FIR which was lodged subsequently suggested and now culminated into a charge sheet, was designed to create a kind of an agitation based on religious feelings of the people and as a part there were continuous social media messages that start wearing Hijab,” Mehta stated.

The high courtroom was listening to arguments on a batch of pleas difficult the Karnataka High Court verdict refusing to elevate the ban on hijab in instructional establishments of the state.

“This is not a spontaneous act of few individual children that we want to wear a hijab. They were a part of a larger conspiracy and the children were acting as advised,” Mehta advised the bench.

He stated till final yr, no woman scholar was sporting hijab in colleges in Karnataka.

Referring to the state authorities’s February 5, 2022 order, Mehta asserted it is not going to be appropriate to say it prohibits sporting solely hijab and due to this fact targets one faith.

“There was yet another dimension which no one has dropped at your lordships’ discover.

I might not be exaggerating if I say that if the federal government wouldn’t have acted the way in which it did, the federal government would have been responsible of dereliction of constitutional obligation,” he stated.

“I would be able to show to your lordships as to how this problem arose and how the state, as a custodian of constitutional rights of everyone, tried to tackle the problem by order dated February 5, 2022,” Mehta argued, insisting, “It is a religion neutral direction”.

The state authorities had, by its order of February 5, 2022, banned sporting garments that disturb equality, integrity, and public order in colleges and schools.

The order was challenged by some Muslim women within the excessive courtroom.

During the arguments, Mehta stated, when the problem about sporting hijab in colleges got here to the fore, some individuals from one other faith began coming with saffron ‘Gamcha’ (stole), a Hindu non secular image, which can also be prohibited as it’s not part of the varsity uniform.

He claimed far-fetched arguments have been superior by the counsel showing for the petitioners that the federal government is throttling the voice of the minority.

“No. The government had to intervene because of the circumstances created,” he stated, referring to the stress the hijab and the saffron stole triggered on some campuses.

Mehta stated the state had directed instructional establishments and never the scholars about uniform.

“You are saying that your emphasis was only on uniform?” the bench requested.

“Yes. We did not touch upon any aspect of religion,” responded Mehta.

During the arguments, which can proceed on Wednesday, Mehta additionally handled the problem of hijab being a necessary non secular apply in Islam.

He requested how might hijab be a necessary apply when individuals within the nation the place the faith was born don’t primarily observe it.

“As a matter of fact, where nations or countries are Islamic countries, women are not wearing hijab. They are fighting against hijab,” Mehta argued.

“Which country is that?” the bench requested, to which Mehta stated “Iran”.

Protests have erupted in a number of components of Iran over the dying of a younger lady who was detained for violating the nation’s conservative gown code.

The morality police had allegedly detained the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for not overlaying her hair with the Islamic headband, generally known as hijab, which is necessary for Iranian ladies.

The solicitor common stated the aim of uniform is to make sure no one feels inferior due to someone dressing in a specific method.

“That is the purpose of uniform. It is for uniformity. It is for equality among all students,” he stated.

“Discipline means discipline. Here we are not talking about any discipline which inflicts any harm on them,” he stated.

Observing that college students aren’t saying they won’t put on the uniform, the bench requested a few state of affairs the place a scholar wears a muffler to an academic establishment throughout winter.

“That (the muffler) does not identify religion,” Mehta stated.

Summarising his arguments, the solicitor common stated colleges have a statutory energy to prescribe uniform and authorities additionally has statutory energy to difficulty instructions to instructional establishments to make sure compliance with guidelines.

“It (government’s February 5 order) was a non-arbitrary exercise of power, making it religion-neutral,” he asserted, including the petitioners went to the courtroom claiming hijab is a necessary non secular apply however they may not set up it.

During the listening to, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, showing for a number of the petitioners, wished to know why the state authorities got here out with such a prohibition 75 years after Independence.

“What was the need? There is nothing brought on record to show that the circular was supported by any just reason or any justification. It came like a bolt from the blue,” he stated.

“So, suddenly you decide that you will have this kind of a ban. Why I say so, series of action in Karnataka targeted minority community in last few years,” Dave contended.

Several pleas have been filed within the high courtroom in opposition to the March 15 verdict of the excessive courtroom holding that sporting hijab is just not part of the important non secular apply which may be protected underneath Article 25 of the Constitution.

NEW DELHI: The Karnataka authorities order that kicked up a row over hijab was “religion-neutral”, the state authorities advised the Supreme Court on Tuesday, launching a robust defence of the state and blaming the PFI for the controversy it claimed was a part of a “larger conspiracy”. 

Insisting that the agitation in help of sporting hijab in instructional establishments was not a “spontaneous act” by a couple of people, it stated the state authorities would have been “guilty of dereliction of constitutional duty” if it had not acted the way in which it did.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, showing for Karnataka, advised the courtroom the Popular Front of India (PFI) began a marketing campaign on social media which was designed to create an agitation primarily based on “religious feelings of the people”.

The PFI is broadly seen as a hardline Muslim organisation and has been blamed for a number of incidents of communal violence, scary requires imposing a nationwide ban on it.

The organisation itself has rejected the allegations.

Mehta advised a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia that the PFI began the social media marketing campaign over the Islamic headband earlier this yr and there have been steady social media messages asking college students to “start wearing hijab”.

“In 2022, a movement started on the social media by an organisation called the Popular Front of India and the movement, as an FIR which was lodged subsequently suggested and now culminated into a charge sheet, was designed to create a kind of an agitation based on religious feelings of the people and as a part there were continuous social media messages that start wearing Hijab,” Mehta stated.

The high courtroom was listening to arguments on a batch of pleas difficult the Karnataka High Court verdict refusing to elevate the ban on hijab in instructional establishments of the state.

“This is not a spontaneous act of few individual children that we want to wear a hijab. They were a part of a larger conspiracy and the children were acting as advised,” Mehta advised the bench.

He stated till final yr, no woman scholar was sporting hijab in colleges in Karnataka.

Referring to the state authorities’s February 5, 2022 order, Mehta asserted it is not going to be appropriate to say it prohibits sporting solely hijab and due to this fact targets one faith.

“There was yet another dimension which no one has dropped at your lordships’ discover.

I might not be exaggerating if I say that if the federal government wouldn’t have acted the way in which it did, the federal government would have been responsible of dereliction of constitutional obligation,” he stated.

“I would be able to show to your lordships as to how this problem arose and how the state, as a custodian of constitutional rights of everyone, tried to tackle the problem by order dated February 5, 2022,” Mehta argued, insisting, “It is a religion neutral direction”.

The state authorities had, by its order of February 5, 2022, banned sporting garments that disturb equality, integrity, and public order in colleges and schools.

The order was challenged by some Muslim women within the excessive courtroom.

During the arguments, Mehta stated, when the problem about sporting hijab in colleges got here to the fore, some individuals from one other faith began coming with saffron ‘Gamcha’ (stole), a Hindu non secular image, which can also be prohibited as it’s not part of the varsity uniform.

He claimed far-fetched arguments have been superior by the counsel showing for the petitioners that the federal government is throttling the voice of the minority.

“No. The government had to intervene because of the circumstances created,” he stated, referring to the stress the hijab and the saffron stole triggered on some campuses.

Mehta stated the state had directed instructional establishments and never the scholars about uniform.

“You are saying that your emphasis was only on uniform?” the bench requested.

“Yes. We did not touch upon any aspect of religion,” responded Mehta.

During the arguments, which can proceed on Wednesday, Mehta additionally handled the problem of hijab being a necessary non secular apply in Islam.

He requested how might hijab be a necessary apply when individuals within the nation the place the faith was born don’t primarily observe it.

“As a matter of fact, where nations or countries are Islamic countries, women are not wearing hijab. They are fighting against hijab,” Mehta argued.

“Which country is that?” the bench requested, to which Mehta stated “Iran”.

Protests have erupted in a number of components of Iran over the dying of a younger lady who was detained for violating the nation’s conservative gown code.

The morality police had allegedly detained the 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for not overlaying her hair with the Islamic headband, generally known as hijab, which is necessary for Iranian ladies.

The solicitor common stated the aim of uniform is to make sure no one feels inferior due to someone dressing in a specific method.

“That is the purpose of uniform. It is for uniformity. It is for equality among all students,” he stated.

“Discipline means discipline. Here we are not talking about any discipline which inflicts any harm on them,” he stated.

Observing that college students aren’t saying they won’t put on the uniform, the bench requested a few state of affairs the place a scholar wears a muffler to an academic establishment throughout winter.

“That (the muffler) does not identify religion,” Mehta stated.

Summarising his arguments, the solicitor common stated colleges have a statutory energy to prescribe uniform and authorities additionally has statutory energy to difficulty instructions to instructional establishments to make sure compliance with guidelines.

“It (government’s February 5 order) was a non-arbitrary exercise of power, making it religion-neutral,” he asserted, including the petitioners went to the courtroom claiming hijab is a necessary non secular apply however they may not set up it.

During the listening to, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, showing for a number of the petitioners, wished to know why the state authorities got here out with such a prohibition 75 years after Independence.

“What was the need? There is nothing brought on record to show that the circular was supported by any just reason or any justification. It came like a bolt from the blue,” he stated.

“So, suddenly you decide that you will have this kind of a ban. Why I say so, series of action in Karnataka targeted minority community in last few years,” Dave contended.

Several pleas have been filed within the high courtroom in opposition to the March 15 verdict of the excessive courtroom holding that sporting hijab is just not part of the important non secular apply which may be protected underneath Article 25 of the Constitution.