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Hijab Is Their Right

By Marziyah Kachwala

Article 25 of the Indian Constitution guarantees the freedom of conscience, and the freedom to profess, practice, and propagate religion to all citizens. However, in the last month, minority Muslim girls wearing hijabs and burqas have been barred from entering schools, and even from giving examinations as schools claimed that it was breaching their “uniform policy” and bringing religious sentiments into schools. Some claim that seeing others in hijabs makes them feel uncomfortable and have been wearing saffron scarves to protest against them. However, many Muslim women see hijabs and burqas as a part of their identity and are protesting the ban on them.

Hijabs are optional pieces of clothing Muslim women choose to wear to cover their hair to maintain modesty and privacy from unrelated men. As it is optional, lawmakers and officials claim that the banning of hijabs in educational facilities is not an infringement of religious freedom. “My submission is that what is optional is not obligatory and what is not obligatory is not compulsory and what is not compulsory is not essential. Therefore, it does not fall in the realm of essential religious practice,” Navadgi, Karnataka’s Advocate General said.

However, in my opinion, stopping a girl from wearing her choice of clothing is infringing upon her right to choose, something that disregards her rights as a person. A woman is fit to choose what she wants to wear; it is her right, and trying to control her choices is a grave threat to women everywhere. For, now they might restrict what we wish to wear but tomorrow they will attempt to control what we do! In my opinion, no one should have to go through harassment like this, thus we must show our support to minorities. We can do this by respecting the beliefs of others and standing by those who are fighting for their rights.


Citations:

Wani, Babra. “What Constitution Say about Wearing Hijab in India?” Ground Report, 27 Jan. 2022, groundreport.in/what-constitution-say-about-wearing-hijab-in-india/. Accessed 7 Mar. 2022.

“Hijab Freedom of Expression, Not of Religion, Can Be Curbed: Karnataka AG.” The Indian Express, 23 Feb. 2022, indianexpress.com/article/cities/bangalore/right-hijab-article-25-constitution-karnataka-government-hc-7786000/.

“History of Hijab in Islam: Why Muslim Women Wear Hijab?” Jagranjosh.com, 11 Feb. 2022, www.jagranjosh.com/general-knowledge/history-of-hijab-in-islam-1644244440-1.

“Karnataka Bans Hijab, Saffron Scarves in State-Run Minority Schools.” NDTV.com, www.ndtv.com/karnataka-news/hijab-row-karnataka-bans-hijab-saffron-scarves-in-minority-schools-2774853.

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