oppn parties Why Wearing Hijab to Exam Hall is Wrong

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Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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Why Wearing Hijab to Exam Hall is Wrong

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Supreme Court is right in ordering that students wishing to appear for pre-medical examinations conducted by the CBSE have to adhere to the dress code mandated by the body conducting the exam. It is high time any kind of extraneous factors are not considered in order to make concessions to any group or body.

The Court was very correct in observing that “the CBSE has come out with a dress code for the sake of keeping the examination fair and proper. It is a matter of three hours. You observe the dress code mandated by the CBSE for three hours and then wear the scarf as long as you want.”

As usual, the clerics and other self-appointed guardians of Muslim community are up in arms against the judgment, calling it “painful” and “preposterous.” Some have even gone ahead and asked whether the Court will do the same for Sikh students. This is a stupid argument, as they have not understood why the code has been made.

When the student fills in the form, he or she is supposed to attach a picture. Now, a Muslim girl attaches a picture where her face is clearly visible on a white background, but where she is not wearing the hijab. A Sikh attaches his picture where again his face is clearly visible, but with the turban. Now when they come to the examination hall, the Sikh student is clearly identifiable by his picture. But if the Muslim girl wears a hijab, she cannot be identified. If only the head is covered, there should be no objection, but if most of the face is also covered, it cannot be allowed.

The clerics say CBSE should have devised other methods of checking. What is CBSE, a body conducting exams or a body given to verifying identities of students? The best, easiest and most hassle-free way to identify those appearing for the exam is to look at their pictures in the admit card and let them enter the hall. This has been done for ages and should continue. Those calling for other checks are being unreasonable.

Regarding the code against long sleeves, some Indian students have been caught cheating by writing entire answers or the main points on their arms. Hence, invigilators need to check this. Nothing more should be read into this. No one wants to hurt religious feelings. But whenever religious norms clash with fairness, they will have to be overlooked.