The Hindu, June 19, 2016 02:29 IST
The students of Delhi Public School in Srinagar protesting against the administration for allegedly banning the wearing of ‘Abaya.’
The issue went public this week when a teacher was allegedly asked by DPS principal Kusum Warikoo to “choose between her job and the dress code.”
An alleged move of the Delhi Public School (DPS) in Srinagar, to disallow the ‘Abaya’, a loose over-garment, on the campus, snowballed into a major controversy on Saturday with the government and civil society groups criticising the school administration.
“It is serious and would be taken up with the school administration. People here have all the freedom to choose their private lives. Our State is not France where the government or some institute decides what people should wear,” State Education Minister Naeem Akhtar said in the Assembly.
Earlier, Independent legislator Engineer Rashid raised the issue in the Assembly. “The mindless action amounts to cultural aggression. Wearing veil is important for Muslim women and the ban is a clear attempt to snatch religious rights and trespass into one’s faith,” said Mr. Rashid. Many teachers told The Hindu that wearing ‘Abaya’, which goes with a head scarf, has been discouraged on the school premises for a long time now.
The issue went public this week when a teacher was allegedly asked by DPS principal Kusum Warikoo to “choose between her job and the dress code”, fuelling a daylong protest by students on Friday inside the D.P. Dhar Trust-run school. The students were asking the school to get back the teacher, who was allegedly forced to resign.
Despite repeated attempts, the DPS administration could not be reached.
‘School should apologise’
Hurriyat faction chairman Syed Ali Geelani Sahab demanded unconditional apology from the school. “J&K is a Muslim- majority State and objecting to the Islamic dress code could have very serious consequences,” said Mr. Geelani.