”My Hijab, My choice”
Can we just represent the physical turmoil on-screen? Emotional setbacks can never be reflected in the media. Our Constitution of India categorically states in the Article 25: ”Freedom of conscience and the right to profess, practice and propagate religion. But the AIPMT has taken all over and it seems that it is now the test of freedom in the ‘free India’.”
The students were denied to wear the hijab and any full-sleeves clothing. This happened due to the failure in the fortification against the defaulters. But does it mean to fully impose ban on hijab or burqa? Was it the only way out? Hijab is the sign of Modesty. In Islam it is enjoined on every girl or women to cover their heads and chest. Hijab is sacred to women for it is a mark of their dignity and respect. On 25th of July, AIPMT (All India Pre-Medical Test) was held. To avoid the cheating by the students many girls weren’t allowed to wear the hijab or burqa, not even full-sleeves. Not just the AIPMT, girls have faced objections for wearing the hijab while taking other exams as well. “I was not allowed to take the CAT exam when I entered the hall wearing the hijab. And that was when there weren’t even such extensive guidelines regarding the dress code. The invigilators said that I’d have to remove my hijab if I was interested in taking the exam,” says Zainab Kidwai, a teacher from the city. It was a tough choice for 20-year-old Rehana (name changed), but she decided to stand by it. Not willing to take off her burqa or hijab for appearing in the All-India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) on Saturday Rehana took a call to not appear for the test that could have been the first step towards her career goal. “This would have been my first attempt at AIPMT, but I don’t mind wasting a year and appearing for the Uttar Pradesh Combined Pre-Medical Test (UPCPMT) to get through medical, if the call is a ban on my attire or my thinking. I do not regret taking this stand,” she said.
It would be derogatory to put a ban on something religiously pious which is followed. This dubious act of showing freedom of religion and then imposing ban amounts to nothing but impeding approach for education. Nonetheless there is a way out for everything as like Kerala High Court did, the court said an invigilator along with a woman invigilator should be present at the exam centre at least half an hour before the exam. The candidates wearing scarves should present themselves before the invigilator half an hour prior to the commencement of the examination. — About the Author: The article has been contributed by our intern, Vrinda Chauhan.