Karnataka Hijab Row: Supreme Court Justice Hemant Gupta Says Can’t Compare Hijab With Sikh Practices


Case Title : Aishat Shifa vs State of Karnataka

Justice Hemant Gupta orally remarked while listening to petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court ban on wearing Hijab to educational institutes that religious practices of Sikhism are “well engrained in the Indian culture”. He trashed the arguments comparing Sikhs turban and kirpan, Hindus tikas and Chritsian’s cross. Justice Gupta remarked that comparison with Sikhs may not be proper. He said that the carrying of Kirpan is recognized by the Constitution. He further junked another argument over Sikh’s turban, stating that Pagadi is not religious and there’s no need to equating it with religion!

Earlier the Supreme Court had rebuked the petitioners asking ‘Can students come in minis, midis or whatever they want?’

When Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde pointed out that a headscarf or hijab was already a part of the uniform as even Chunni was allowed.

Justice Gupta retorted that a chunni cannot be compared with hijab. Chunni is worn on the shoulders and not the head. He said that Punjabis don’t cover their heads in the presence of elders.

The hearing is still going on and doesn’t seem to make headways for the petitioners. It seems that the doors are closed drawing fallacies justifying oddities in the constitution while a section of the country cherry picks and tries to inflame the very pluralistic fabric of the country. Right to Education was denied to students who had come to schools and colleges in Hijab for years. Suddenly the doors were shoved in their faces. Alas! We are arguing on the nuances of sartorial choices here based upon culture and religion and prejudices. The judgment is already drawn in this case. Prejudice disguised as (whatever you wanna call it).

See Also: All Mashable India coverage on Hijab Row

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