DNA Exclusive: Row Over Hijab In Rajasthan Government School

In DNA today, Sourabh Raaj Jain analysed the violation of the dress code in government schools on religious lines. Imagine you dial 100 to call the police and four individuals arrive at your home wearing kurta-pyjamas and tell you that they are indeed the police, would you trust them?

Perhaps, at first sight, you might not believe them based on their appearance. In reality, a system has been established in the country where police officers are identified by their uniforms, just as the military has its uniform. Moreover, those who assist or check tickets during train journeys also wear their uniforms. The same applies to schools where a specific uniform is provided for students.

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Uniforms symbolize equality. If every child coming to school is in the same uniform, it has an impact on their minds that they are not different from their peers; they are just like them. However, in recent years, a rigid form of religious identity has been imposed on school children. We say this because a controversy has arisen over a Muslim candidate wearing a hijab in a school in Rajasthan.

The school in question is a government school where there is a provision for uniforms. However, for quite some time, Muslim students coming here have been wearing the hijab. The teachers did not raise any objections to this, so this practice continued. But when Balmukund Acharya visited this school, he questioned the practice of girls wearing uniforms with hijabs.

Despite having a dress code in schools, having separate religious attire is a violation of school rules. The process of imparting education in government schools is almost the same. Assembly, prayer, followed by different subject classes. In schools, it is rare to see any discrimination based on a student’s religion or attire. But lately, it has been observed that there is a growing trend of students, especially girls, violating the rules by wearing religious attire, particularly the hijab, leading to unrest. This controversy has arisen in a government school in Jaipur. Now, politics is likely to be involved in this issue because the hijab is a matter that becomes the primary weapon for those who engage in politics under the guise of religious rigidity.