After Kerala High Court rejected a class eight student's petition to include hijab in the uniform of student police cadets (SPC), the state government too dismissed the demand by the girl, stating that combining religious matters with uniforms can lead to questions on discipline and secular survival of the forces. This order was issued by the joint secretary of the state home department.
The petitioner is a student of GHSS in Kuttiyadi. She had contended the existing dress code for SPC and said that it went against the beliefs of the Muslim community. She demanded that at least they should be allowed to wear the uniform according to their community customs - a full sleeve dress and a hijab, headscarf. In the petition, she cited Article 25 (1) of the Constitution of India and said that she was being denied justice by not being allowed to wear the uniform according to her community belief which does not infringe on the right of others.
Student Police Cadet Hijab Controversy
The police have argued against this petition. According to them, the SPC trains children to be future leaders of a democratic society. For which they are being inculcated discipline, respect to the law, resistance to social evil amongst others. "In Kerala Police, all police personnel are wearing the same uniform and no religious symbols are permitted in the uniform. The same system is being followed for SPC also," they said, adding that no religious dress code is allowed in NCC or scouts and guides.
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The state government rejected her appeal as they preview that it will affect secularism in the state. "Also, if such a waiver is considered in the SPC project, similar demands will be made on other similar forces, which will significantly affect the secularism of the state. Therefore, it is not appropriate to give any indication such that the religious symbols are highlighted in the uniform under the SPC project," the state order stated.
The student had submitted the petition to Kerala HC, who rejected it and directed her to submit her grievance to the state government. She moved the court after the faculty of the Student Police Cadets did not allow her to wear a headscarf and full sleeve dress.
Muslim Girl's Plea To Wear Headscarf With Student Police Cadet Uniform Rejected By Kerala Government On Grounds Of Secularism
Recently, a lot of debate around the hijab has emerged in terms of it being part of college or school uniform. One recent incident is Udupi in Karnataka, where the Muslim students at Government PU College for Girls were denied to wear hijabs. As an alternative, the students suggested that the college holds online classes for those who find Hijab unacceptable.
This protest suggestion by students was a reply to MLA K Raghupati Bhat who had said that students who do not want to give up hijab during class hours can opt for online classes instead. Yesterday, Education Minister BC Nagesh and Bhat called the incident an "international conspiracy."
The minister questioned why the problem is arising in a few pockets and directly denoted that "the forces against the nation are behind this."
This issue first arose when students, who wear hijab, were denied to attend classes for nearly a month. "The hijab is our constitutional right. We will go to college wearing the hijab. We do not want online classes. If we are denied our rights in a government college, how can we expect it in other colleges? Science students among us will not be able to attend the lab hours of we are allowed to do only online classes," the Times of India reported the students saying this.