Indian Americans Forum conducted a virtual Global Protest on the Hijab ban on Sunday, February 27.
Guest speakers Avani Bansal advocate Supreme Court of India, Kavitha Krishnan Secretary AIPW and member polit bureau CPI-ML, Annie Raja Secretary All India Federation of Women AIFW, Gurmehar Kaur Independent journalist and broadcaster gave their views
Avani Bansal advocate Supreme Court in her keynote address spoke about the invocation of articles 25 for the protection of hijab rights whereas the Karnataka AG strangely disregards this aspect without being able to prove a threat to the public morality. She also discussed other relevant articles of the constitution and express the need for secular forces to come together and raise voices against any attempts to subvert the constitution and fundamental rights of citizens.
Kavitha Krishnan highlighted the agenda of Hindutva forces to forcefully implement their ideology and hijab is their first attempt and ridiculed them of double talk on the issue of modesty of women and their attempts to block what they call indecency in dress. Quoting the agenda to the Hindutva founder she criticized the Hindutva forces’ attempt to subvert secularism and ask upon the civil society to rise above religions outlook and take Stand on individuals freedoms.
Annie Raja came down heavily on Hindutva ideology and its government’s role in perpetuating its designs on India and hope that India’s civil society will not tolerate Hindutva ideology. Gurmehar Kaur emphasized the need for unity and protecting India from anti-secular forces and rise above all differences to protect India’s secular integrity.
Gurmehar Kaur in a much refreshing tone giving a poetic tinge spoke about the need to let the women alone have a choice in this matter. She stressed that none had an authority to decide for her. She outlined when we are demanding for ‘jobs’ we are getting the answer ‘hijab’. And, these are the attempts to entangle us in the web of lies. She ended with a poem from Majaz Lucknowi “Tere chehray pe yeh aanchal bohat hee khoob hai lekin,
Tu iss aanchal se ek parcham banaa leti toh achaa tha.”
A resolution of protest was moved by ZOYA MAHVEEN (Bar-at-law student, London, U.K) while the participants raise their hands as a mark of protest under the Indian Americans forum which read as below
“We the NRI’s community under the Indian Americans Forum would like to appeal to the Government of India,
In dealing with the question of religious practices the State government needs to comprehend that the specific injunctions and the fundamental religious principles mandated by the Shariah law cannot be interpolated by the external ethos.
One cannot be forced to forsake a vital tenet of their faith to attain the ‘right to education which is again a fundamental right guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
Moreover, the decision of the state government to delegate its power and place reliance upon an extra-statutory body’s discretion to decide over the matter is unconstitutional where the practice itself in question attracts the protection of Art 25.
Personal views and reactions are irrelevant wherein such a form of expression to wear a headscarf is innocuous and doesn’t by itself offend the public at large, create any sort of violence or affect health or public morality in any way.
And, when such right is not against the constitutional dicta then the state does not hold any right to ban such an essential religious practice and dishonour fundamental rights.
We possess faith in the judiciary and in a country like India, a predominantly religious society we urge all the sections of society to respect, tolerate and maintain peace upholding the robust secular diversity of our nation and letting the court examine the religious freedoms in the light of constitutional schemes.
The Moderator of the call was Zoya Mahveen from UK
Representatives from KSA —Parvez, Irfan, and others UAE -Sabir Husain, Canada -Subhash Satyanarayana, Fareed Nawaz, from USA -Nazneen Hashmi, Narsingh Mamindla, Irshad -CIOGC, Commodore Lokesh Batra RTI activists, Dr Rehan Khan ISPJ
Panna Batra, Mohammed Pasha, and others attended
Summarizing the session Dr Jameel founder of Indian Americans forum appeal to the Government of India to protect the fundamental rights of citizens and ensure constitutional guarantees are protected and emphasized the need that the Indian flag and India will be raised not with the power of flesh but with the power of spirit not with the flag of destruction but with the flag of love and peace and thanked everyone who joined this virtual global protest against Hijab ban