Muslim Woman Discriminated in Tamil Nadu:school principal allegedly approached her during the exam and demanded the removal of her hijab
Chennai, 21 August (City Times):Muslim Woman Discriminated in Tamil Nadu: In a concerning incident, a Muslim woman hailing from Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, has raised serious allegations of discrimination after being denied the right to write a Hindi exam due to her hijab. The incident has ignited a debate about religious freedom and educational institutions’ policies.
The incident unfolded at Annamalaiyar Matriculation School, where the woman named Shabana was scheduled to take her Hindi exam. However, just ten minutes into the exam, she was reportedly instructed to halt writing and remove her hijab by the school authorities.
Shabana recounted the incident, stating that the school principal approached her during the exam and demanded the removal of her hijab. Despite her refusal and attempts to explain her reasons, she was asked to stand, creating an uncomfortable situation for her.
As an Arabic teacher, Shabana argued that removing her hijab would send a wrong message to her students. She tried to reason with the school correspondent, but her pleas were met with rejection. The situation escalated when the school management took her writing pad away and instructed her to leave the exam hall.
Feeling aggrieved, Shabana decided to exit the exam hall. However, she claimed that the school principal demanded a written statement from her, asserting that she left voluntarily.
The matter took a further turn when Shabana’s husband intervened, approaching both the school management and authorities from the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI). The police were also involved in the matter.
According to Mushtaq Basha, District Head of SDPI, the school authorities attributed their actions to instructions received from the Secretary of Hindi Prachar Sabha regarding the wearing of hijabs during exams.
After intense discussions, the school eventually agreed to allow Shabana to write the exam while wearing her hijab. However, she declined the offer, citing emotional exhaustion after what she described as a “day-long struggle.”
This incident has drawn attention to the complexities of balancing religious beliefs and institutional regulations, prompting discussions about the need for clearer guidelines to ensure the rights of individuals are respected within educational environments.