Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 23 (ANI): Amid the hijab row, senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, representing College Development Committee (CDC), told Karnataka High Court on Wednesday that maintaining secular order is the paramount duty of the institution and the state as the basic constitutional value for institutions is to impart secular education.
Advocate Sajan Poovayya, who was appearing for CDC submitted that the basic constitutional value for it as a school is to impart secular values and dignity of girl child should be protected.
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“The basic constitutional value for me as a school is to impart secular education and to ensure the dignity of girl child is protected,” said Advocate Sajan Poovayya stressing that the college committee will not prescribe a protective attire to a girl child and not a boy child on a religious basis.
A bench of three judges, comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi, was hearing various petitions challenging the ban on hijab in educational institutes in the state on Wednesday.
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Advocate Poovayya said that in a democratic society, community standard is maintained by rule of law and not by religious texts.
Countering the petitioner’s pleas, he said allowing religious dresses in schools is not secular education.
He insisted that interference of religion in secular education should be kept to a minimum.
He also raised the issue that due to Muslim girls wearing Hijab, a situation has arisen where a Hindu child is saying he wants to wear a saffron scarf.
He asserted that uniform was for removing discrimination, whether they are rich or poor, whether Hindu, Muslim or another religion. He also asked why we teach our girl child to dress modestly but not the boy child.
Opposing the petition against the ban on Hijab, he said that positive secularism has been misread and misquoted by the petitioners. He said that positive secularism clearly indicates that the state should endeavour that there should be no religious interference in educational institutions.
Senior advocate Sajan Poovayya also pointed out that the world is moving towards a uniform that is gender-neutral. He said that secular education is not just about academia and schooling is about overall development.
The Karnataka High Court will continue hearing on Thursday various petitions challenging the ban on headscarves in educational institutes.
The hijab protests in Karnataka began in January this year when some students of Government Girls PU college in the Udupi district of the state alleged that they had been barred from attending classes. During the protests, some students claimed they were denied entry into the college for wearing hijab.
Following this incident, students of different colleges arrived at Shanteshwar Education Trust in Vijayapura wearing saffron stoles. The situation was the same in several colleges in the Udupi district.
The pre-University education board had released a circular stating that students can wear only the uniform approved by the school administration and no other religious practices will be allowed in colleges. (ANI)
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