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NEW DELHI: Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday asserted that ‘motivated comments on New Delhi’s internal issues were not welcome’, as the controversy and protests over banning hijab in schools continued in the country.
In a short statement issued on Twitter, the spokesperson for the ministry, Arindam Bagchi, said, “A matter regarding dress codes in some educational institutions in the state of Karnataka is under judicial examination by the Honourable High Court of Karnataka. Our constitutional framework and mechanisms, as well as our democratic ethos and polity, are the context in which issues are considered and resolved.”
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) February 12, 2022
The spokesperson added, “those who know India well would have a proper appreciation of these realities. Motivated comments on our internal issues are not welcome.”
Pakistan on Wednesday condemned the “reprehensible act” of banning Muslim students from wearing hijab in the Indian state of Karnataka and summoned Indian Charge d’ Affaires in Islamabad and conveyed to him the government of Pakistan’s grave concern over the incident.
The summon came after students at a government-run high school in the Indian state were told not to wear hijabs last month, an edict that soon spread to other educational institutions in the state. A hijab-clad student was also heckled and jeered at by a mob of Hindutva supporters in Karnataka on Tuesday.
United States Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain has criticised the hijab ban. He said the Indian state “should not determine permissibility of religious clothing”.
Religious freedom includes the ability to choose one’s religious attire. The Indian state of Karnataka should not determine permissibility of religious clothing. Hijab bans in schools violate religious freedom and stigmatize and marginalize women and girls.
— Amb. at Large for International Religious Freedom (@IRF_Ambassador) February 11, 2022
In addition, ‘Solidarity Day with Indian Daughters’ was observed on Friday across the world, on a call by the Pakistan Ulema Council and International Islamic Conference, according to a report by Radio Pakistan.
Earlier this week, the Karnataka High Court told students not to wear any religious clothing until it delivers a verdict on petitions seeking to overturn a ban on hijab in schools.
The court is considering petitions filed by students challenging the ban that some schools have implemented in recent weeks.