Amid concerns among Indian Muslims about the government’s ‘Hindu first’ actions, the Indian Karnataka State High Court made matters worse by announcing that it had agreed to formally enforce a ban on wearing hijabs for Muslim students in schools.
The court said that hijab was not an important religious practice in Islam. Therefore, it is not protected by Article 25 of the constitution, which regulates the fundamental right to practice religion. The court also said that the state’s right to rule what students can wear was reasonable.
In September 2021, a dispute over school uniforms erupted at a government girls’ college in Udupi, Karnataka, when Teachers barred Muslim students from entering classrooms because they were wearing hijabs. According to the college, wearing a hijab is considered a violation of the school’s rules.
It quickly became controversial, Muslim students protesting that their rights to have their religion had been taken away by the rules and argued that they had previously worn the hijab in school without any problems.
The matter enraged people throughout India and spread a big question among the public. Not only about hijab but many people in India wear special clothes because of their religion. It signifies a much larger and growing struggle between Muslims and Hindus in India.
India was not founded as a country based on religion. As evidence, the Indian constitution protects freedom of religion. But it is in contrast to what is being done with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and his political party, the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party).
He has been trying hard to put the needs of 80% of Indian Hindus above the needs of other religious minorities, especially the 14% of India’s Muslim population.
Mr Modi has even tried to limit the number of Muslims in the country as he took over Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), India’s only Muslim-majority state. However, previously J&K was protected by law and allowed to make its own rules.
The Karnataka state government, which the BJP runs, previously also supported the right of schools to ban Muslim students from wearing the hijab in school, resulting in schools being closed for three days due to the protests that were broke out.