She is a 10 CGPA holder, a daughter to be proud of. She could be anything, a writer, a doctor, an astronaut, a dancer, anything she wants to, but a prestigious school in the city denies her admission. The reason? She wears a headscarf.
This is the story of Litera Valley School, one of the fastest growing schools in Patna, Bihar with a total of more than 5000 students, and a rich faculty. One of the objectives of the school, as stated on the school website is “To prepare them as responsible citizens and develop them as leaders of tomorrow.” How ironical is it that a school which sees Hijab as a ground for discrimination in the 21st century talks about developing leaders of tomorrow?
In the school’s defence, a uniform maintains homogeneousness among pupils, but turbans are allowed at the same institution where a Hijab isn’t. Why is it that a Hijab is seen only as a threat? A threat to free movement, a threat to free thought, a threat to free civilisation and threat to freedom itself.
Muslim women are conquering the world, and their Hijab has not been an inhibition yet. Hijab is not a sign of male oppression, or a conservative mindset, it only gives the woman a freedom to express herself, but for most people it is a hindrance for growth of civilisation.
The father of the student Mohammed Wasay Zafar wrote a post on his Facebook, and his posts have been gaining mixed reactions. There has been strong support from most people, but Islamophobia has creeped in most of the educated minds. It has rooted itself within people and such incidences do nothing but to water these roots.
Mr. Zafar writes in his post, “Mujhe samajh nahi aa raha Hijab siksha graham karne mein rukawat kaise hai?” You can find his entire post here – http://bit.ly/2sPTxO7. This incidence happens in a time when the prime minister is chanting the slogan of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti padhao’. How far are we from true liberalisation of minds and society?
We can only imagine the agony of the young student who was practically denied the right to education only because she chooses to practice her religion publicly.
In a slam poetry session, poet Zainab Rashid, who adorns a burqa proudly says “I’m not a precious emerald covered in silk, neither a man’s glorified guilt. I am not somebody’s insecure honour. My burqa is a result of what goes between me and him, I am a woman who self choses to build.”
The school authority needs to widen their range of thought and move ahead from the era of ignorance they’re living in. Every person deserves their chance at education, and a Hijab is not an excuse to rob a girl of her rights.