16 Mar Wearing hijab : A Part of Culture , not an essential part of religion : An Analysis in special context of the decision of High court in the issue of Wearing hijab
Context : In a recent decision of the Karnataka High Court , it is stated that Wearing Hijab is not an essential practice of the Islam therefore the ban on the wearing of hijab (head scarf) by students in schools and colleges in the State would be continued . However the students appealed against this decision in supreme court and still this matter is the subject of sub judice .
- The strife of wearing hijab has been continuing in Karnataka for several
months . School authority of the Karnataka banned wearing hijab and the
Muslim girls wearing hijab would not be permitted in the classroom .
Karnataka High Court gave a judgment in this regard that this ban does not
deprive the right of following of essential religious practices described in
Article 25 to 28 in constitution of India . The court said it was a reasonable
restriction that was constitutionally permissible. A three-judge bench
comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S. Dixit and Justice J.M. Khazi, gave this decision and rejected all the petitions filed by nine
Muslim girl students
The provisions of the constitution
- Article 25 to 28 provides us the right to practice our religion . Articles 25 describes Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion. Article 26 describes the Freedom to manage religious affairs and Article 27 describes the Freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion while article 28 describes the prohibition of the religious instruction given by the educational institutions run by the state.
As per the decision of the Karnataka High Court wearing Hijab is not the essential practice of the Islam on the following ground
- However the attire for the women is described in Quran and hadis but there is no provision of the punishment after violation of the prescribed attire ● The attire described in Islamic texts is only to attain maximum mercy of the god
- The attire described in Islamic Texts is only for the homogeneity among all Islamic women .
- The attire described in Islamic Texts for women is to reduce sensuality so that the possibility of Jannat could be maximized
According to the High Court of Karnataka Wearing hijab is not an essential religious practice but it is a part of culture. Therefore , Wearing Hijab can be prohibited in educational institutions by the educational authorities . However , the Honorable High court of Karnataka accepted that hijab wearing is part of Islamic culture. Culture is the recognition of any community, any person or any country . Losing recognition is similar to losing identity . Hence the cultural value system must also be protected by the government, provided it would be progressive in its nature and it would not create conflict in the society . The issue of wearing Hijab evolved because of political mileage . The timing of this row was the timing of the elections in five states . But here the question is whether it should be allowed in educational institutions. The Hijab (Covering of complete face ) should be prohibited because it would be harmful for the law and order but the Hijab (Covering only the breast/ Just like dupatta /scarf ) should not be objectionable because it is not backward in its nature .
In fundamental duties , it has also been described that everybody should preserve their culture. Because culture is the identity . The Indian government is spending thousands of rupees to preserve our cultural heritage . Therefore , on the ground of cultural heritage , Hijab (Covering the breast) should be allowing of same color as prescribed by school authority in dress
In the Indian cultural value system , there are many traditions and attire which are an integral part of our culture although these things are not described in any authentic religious text . The attire for the female has not been described in any Hindu text or law books but still , because of the tradition , Hindu women wear a particular type of dress and ornament . Their attire should also neither be prohibited nor made compulsory . In progressive societies , firstly these subjects should be the subjects of debate . There should not be any angle of religion behind the culture value system of society. Parameter of progressive/backwardness should be the parameter of debate .
If in future, the honorable supreme court changes the decision of the High court which Plutus IAS
is mostly expected to come, it would neither be a good sign for Indian democracy nor of Indian Judiciary , nor of the Indian constitution . We must focus over the issues through which our status could be uplifted, communal harmony could be established , the gap between upper cals and lower class could be minimized rather than wasting our time and energy on the issues like wearing Hijabs / attire .