Amidst the Hijab row in Karnataka, a 17-year-old Sikh girl in Bengaluru has become the next target. Named Amiteshwar Kaur, she was asked to remove her turban before entering the Mount Carmel PU (Pre-University) College. While the college authorities claimed to follow the Karnataka High Court's interim order, the young student refused to do so as it goes against her faith.
According to The Times of India, Kaur is the college's student union president. Further, the girl's family clarifies the order and issues necessary non-discriminatory measures. The state judiciary, on February 10, ordered students to refrain from wearing religiously symbolic clothes such as "saffron shawls, hijab and religious flags" inside the institutes where uniform is mandatory.
'Bound' By The High Court Order
The young girl is an 'Amritdhari'(Baptised) Sikh by faith. Amritdhari Sikhs are people within the religious community that have gone through the 'Amrit Sanskar' initiation ceremony. The members are supposed to follow the 'Rahit Maryada', the Sikh code of conduct. Along with following the five Ks under it, they are supposed to keep their heads covered their heads with turbans.
On February 16, Amiteshwar Kaur was asked to remove the turban entering the college premises. However, she refused to do so. Her family spoke to the authorities about the incident in light of this. "We spoke to the girl's father and later mailed him. We informed him about the order and told them to abide by it. He responded that it (turban) is an integral part of their life. We did not want to interfere, but the other girls have been insisting on uniformity, and hence we sent the mail," Mount Carmel's spokesperson told the news publication.
Further, the college insisted that they promote 'inter-religious harmony'. The college adds, "We have only to follow the court order. When I asked the principal, she said the girls are convinced, and there are no issues in the college."
"Clarification On The Matter..."
Kaur's father, Gurcharan Singh, has lived in Bengaluru for close to 17 years. Emphasising the college has never discriminated earlier based on religion, the family wants clarification on the matter as soon as possible. "Asking a Sikh to remove their turban is a big insult to a Sikh and the entire Sikh community. We also stand by those Muslim girls/women who want to cover their heads with a scarf/dupatta. We request the authorities to allow them to do so as it was already practised in the country and does not cause any harm. The colour of the scarf and dastaar (turban) can match the institution's uniform," The Times Of India quotes him.
Further, Singh has approached a senior advocate, HS Phoolka, in the matter. Not only that, he informed Jeetendra Singh, Sri Guru Singh Sabha's administrator in Bengaluru's Ulsoor, about the situation. The former told the news publication, "I am sending my opinion to him (Gurcharan Singh) that neither the HC order nor the government order bans Sikh turban."
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