Hijab is not an essential religious practice, the Karnataka High Court said today because it supports the ban on hijab in classrooms, which has been sued by a group of Muslim students who have spread to many districts since the protests began last year.
“We believe that the wearing of the hijab by Muslim women is not part of the fundamental religious practice of the Islamic faith,” the three judges said, repealing the state government’s ban.
In a February 5 order, the Karnataka government banned “clothing that violates equality, integrity and public order” in schools and universities.
“The uniform school prescription is a reasonable restriction that students cannot oppose. The government has the power to issue an order,” the Supreme Court said.
Prior to the order, large rallies were banned for a week in the state capital of Bengaluru to “maintain public peace and order”.
Mangalor also banned rallies from March 15-19. Schools and institutes are closed today in Udupin, the protests that began in December.
The Karnataka High Court temporarily banned religious clothing, including Hijab and saffron scarves, from last month, the controversy turned into snowball protests and a rally between different sections of students.
The plaintiffs, including a dozen Muslim students, told the court that wearing a hijab is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Indian constitution and an essential practice. The court did not accept that argument.
Hijab students and teachers have been banned from attending schools and universities in many parts of the state in recent weeks.
In the row of high divisions, videos of students and teachers forced to take off their scarves before entering campus appeared. The High Court clarified that the temporary ban applies only to students and not to teachers.
Controversy erupted over the hijacking when students at a Udupi school complained that they had been banned from wearing a scarf for the first time in years. As the restrictions spread to more campuses, a surge in saffron-wearing students sparked protests from opponents.
The state BJP government has denied allegations of targeting Muslim students who are banned from hijab in government schools. However, party leaders have often said that religious symbols should not be accepted in places of study.
“I welcome the court’s decision. I appeal to all states that the state and the country must move forward, that everyone must keep the peace by accepting the Supreme Court’s order. The basic job of students is to learn. So they should learn all this aside. And unite.” , said Union Minister Joshi Pralhad in Delhi.