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Saffronizing education

Muhammad Kashif
In January this year, the hijab controversy erupted after a chaotic decision of a government-run school in Karnataka, India as the school administration barred Muslim students donning veils from entering in School. Videos making rounds on social media showed clearly the Muslim students who were denied entry in classroom sitting outside helpless and incapacitated while the exam was ongoing inside. Consequently, outraged with the decision, Muslim students carried out demonstrations to express their dissent and force the school administration to roll back its decision. All their struggle proved to be futile when more school in the state followed the same bans. Hindu students wearing saffron shawls started protesting against Muslim citing the reason; their education is getting affected. Gradually, the conflict intensified as it engulfed both Hindu and Muslim students which prompted the state government to announce the closure of educational institutes in the state. Matter reached the state court as a petition was filed challenging the schools’ unjustifiable decision. Subsequently, the court gave the verdict to uphold the ban by saying wearing Hijab is not an essential practice in Islam religion.Ostensibly, it’s the shallow knowledge of religion Islam which court carries that perhaps led it to make this ignorant verdict on a hollow ground. In Surah 24 of the Holly Quran, it is clearly mentioned and stressed on Muslim women to wear Hijab. The following is the meaning of the Surah: “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them [when they go abroad]. That will be better, that so they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful”. The verdict of the court was not much surprising as it was already anticipated that the court would rule in opposition of Muslim because the state is ruled by BJP party which has previously taken many apathetic decisions against Muslim community such as decree of Babari Mosque’s demolition, citizenship amendment act of 2019 and many more. India always proclaims to be a secular country, but such moves are paradoxical to it’s baseless claim. The space continues to narrow down for Muslims, India’s 15% population. As in one more agonizing development, Gujrat state has made an announcement that they are going to introduce Bhagvad Gita, a Hindu scripture, in curriculum for 1 to 12 classes in all state schools which vividly reflects that India is endeavoring to implement its crooked Hindutva Philosophy. The blatant decision of adding Bhagvad Gita in the syllabus is unsubtly a violation of Article 28, the Constitution of India which states “No religious instructions shall be provided in any educational institution that’s wholly funded and maintained by state”India is leaving no stone unturned to embrace the Hindutva Philosophy. Both the developments- banning Hijab and the introduction of Bhagvad Gita in curriculum- are the testaments that the country is not limited to just talks of implementation the Hindutva philosophy but has begun to take concrete steps toward its manifestation.At this stage, they are ignorantly perpetuating their motive but in long run, they will confront to dire repercussions which are destined to befall their way as they can not much longer stifle the dissent voices and continue to oppress the world’s largest Muslim-minority. Tyranny has its downfall some day certainly.

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