Press Trust of india

Will always support uniforms in schools; no hijab or other dresses: BJP

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New Delhi: The BJP on Thursday asserted that it will always be opposed to students wearing hijab or any dress other than uniforms in schools, and said religious freedom cannot be used to promote “separatism”.

Soon after the Supreme Court gave a split verdict on the ban on hijabs in Karnataka educational institutions, BJP national general secretary C T Ravi, a senior party leader from the state, said it will not be appropriate for him to comment on the judgement.

But he will always speak against the “separatist mindset” that, he claimed, promotes the use of Muslim headscarf in schools.

“Uniform in schools is meant to promote uniformity among students. I believe that separatism is promoted in the garb of issues like promotion of burqa or hijab. This mindset was the reason behind India’s partition. This separatism progressively morphs into extremism which can be a source of terrorism,” he claimed.

Rules mandating wearing uniform in Karnataka schools have been in force since 1965, he said.

Citing popular protests in Iran, an Islamic country, against the mandatory use of hijabs, he claimed that religion freedom in India cannot mean promotion of “separatist” designs.

He added that the issue is not about wearing or not wearing hijab but what to wear in schools. And there should be no hijab or other dresses in schools but only uniforms, he said.

Following the split verdict, the two-judge Supreme Court bench referred the matter to the chief justice of India for constituting a larger bench.

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