Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Muslims’ challenging wearing of turban in Hijab case draws sharp reaction from Sikhs

NEW DELHI: Muslim bodies and their lawyers challenging wearing turban in case of ban on Hijab in Supreme Court of India has drawn sharp reaction from the Sikh community and lawyers. The SC has maintained that equating hijab with turban is not justified.

While hearing the batch of petitions challenging the Karnataka High Court’s judgment which upheld the ban on wearing hijab by Muslim girl students in some schools and colleges in the State on September 8, Justice Hemant Gupta orally remarked that hijab could not be compared with Sikhism as practices of Sikhism were “well engrained in the culture of the country”.

In the hearings, Advocate Nizam Pasha had referred to portions of Karnataka High Court Judgment which had stated that Hijab was at best a cultural practice. In this context, he submitted that even if it was a cultural practice, it was protected just like the wearing of turban was protected for Sikhs.

“The comparison with Sikhs may not be proper. The 5 Ks of Sikh have been held to be mandatory. There are judgments. Carrying of Kirpan is recognized by the constitution. So don’t compare practices…There was a case in Punjab. A college run by SGPC. The condition of admission was that anybody who won’t follow tenets of Sikhism can’t get. A girl was denied admission on the grounds that she trimmed her eyebrows and the matter is pending here”, said Justice Gupta.

Reacting to arguments of the Muslim counsel, senior SC lawyer HS Phoolka tweeted, “Why Muslim bodies & their lawyers are challenging wearing of Turban by Sikhs? They should fight their own case &not drag in Sikh practices. Sikhs have always supported them on many issues.But unfortunately, before HC & SC their main attack is on allowing Turban. Pl don’t do It”.

Young Sikh thinker Gangveer Rathore said, “Indian Muslim is desperate to make Sikhs party smartly and forcibly in this case. Sikhi and Islam are both two different religions. Their cultures are different. Muslims have the right to have four wives and triple talaq. These are not with other faiths. Tomorrow, other faiths may challenge these rights given to Muslims”.

“Is Indian Muslims are going to advocate Uniform Civil Code in India? The Muslims deliberately raise the issue of Sikhs in their own matters. Now they are questioning the wearing of turban and kirpan by the Sikhs. However, a section of Sikhs make a statement in favour of Muslims on the issue of CAA”, he said.

He added, “Muslim should fight legal battle for their tenets but not question the tenets of Sikhs”.  

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