Hijab Row. Hijab Row Explained.
In a small coastal town of Udupi, Karnataka, arose the controversy over the wearing of hijab started after the management of a government pre-university college barred six Muslim girls from attending classes for wearing hijab.
The issue in hand transformed into a massive controversy when the Hindu College students contributed to the dissension by waving saffron scarves and saffron flags, demanding permission to display their religious attires and symbols if the decision of wearing a hijab is allowed in educational institutions.
Now, let’s talk about the real conflict that is causing the disheveled condition. I would like to discuss how the actual act of Secularism has been never brought into play since the time our Preamble was written. India has never been a secular state in the classical sense. But before going into an irrational argument, I’ll commence with the basics of education, and enlighten the definitions of Secularism by various reputed and trusted sources. According to Merriam Webster: “Secularism is indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations”. From the Dictionary of Cambridge, “secularism is the belief that religion should not be involved with the ordinary social and political activities of a country. Religious beliefs and atheistic beliefs.” In the Oxford Dictionary, it is defined as “the belief that religion should not be involved in the organization of society, education, etc.” And for Collins Dictionary, secularism is “a system of social organization and education where religion is not allowed to play a part in civil affairs.”
What do we infer from these definitions and many others? Secularism, as I would largely define, is an idea, belief or system that separates religion from state affairs. It guarantees all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice, and propagate religion. Albeit it is different from atheism or agnosticism in the sense that secularism is a disciplined rule that defends the absolute freedom of religion and other beliefs and protects the right to manifest religious beliefs insofar as it does not impinge on the rights and freedoms of others. So, the broad idea is that secularism protects the rights of individuals to practice any or no religion but State and Statecraft should be separate from it.
Coming to the application of Secularism after it was added to the Preamble of Constitution after the 42nd Amendment. The Indian government successfully fails to act upon the word as it is subjected to only minorities or religions that aren’t Hindu-driven.
If I am to take an example, the Hindi Subject taught in schools has always tried to promote the Gods and Goddesses of Hindus. The worshiping of the deities of the religion has blanketed the literature whereas it’s not the same with others. Meanwhile, the rituals before initiating an important or auspicious program and/or project, the government tends to follow the Hindu customs like breaking the coconut or chanting a mantra. There is no created disapproval when the temples chant Ganesh Vandana or Shiv Strotam late at night or early in the mornings. If this nation can seamlessly function whilst promoting a majorly followed religion then why such an unjustified bias with the other.
India being a country, where Secularism is proudly reiterated, must be the first to follow the same and provide justice to all.
The author is a Bachelor of Arts Student at Banaras Hindu University, 2nd year, English Literature. 2020-current. A Professional Expert Writer versed in a broad spectrum of topics. Co-authored in 7 publications, all available on Amazon, Kindle, and Flipkart. Extensive knowledge of Fiction with proven skill in creative writing and editing.
Know the author by following her on LinkedIn click the link