Hyderabad: Even as the controversy over the wearing of headscarves by students in the classroom remains unresolved in Udupi district of Karnataka, a school in Hyderabad has readily accepted ‘hijab’ for its teachers and students. Management of the Venkatrao Memorial School at Laldarwaza in the Old City came forward to accept hijabs presented by the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) for non-Muslim women and girls.
As part of the World Hijab Day celebrations, the JIH presented headscarves and hijabs to women in different parts of the city on Tuesday. The Hijab Day is observed worldwide on February 1 to encourage women of all religions and backgrounds to wear and experience hijab for a day. The idea is to burst the myth surrounding ‘hijabphobia’ and to create awareness about why Muslims women choose to wear the hijab.
The JIH celebrated the day by distributing headscarves to women in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur, Rajahmundry and Kakinada. In Hyderabad the women’s wing of JIH gave away colourful hijabs in a big way at Tolichowki, Malakpet, Shaikpet and Secunderabad. Apart from schools, headscarves were also presented to women doctors and nurses in hospitals besides police women in different police stations. The campaign evoked good response and women happily accepted the headscarves.
“Many women who wore the scarves around their heads for the first time stared at themselves in the mirror and expressed happiness,” said Tahura Siddiqui and Humera of JIH women’s wing. They also distributed pamphlets containing information about the need for wearing hijab.
The JIH women took pains to explain that the traditional Muslim headscarf is not a symbol of oppression or a sign of female inferiority. It doesn’t restrict women’s freedom and is not an act of defiance, confrontation or protest against non-Muslims. “Besides being a sign of modesty, hijab is a protection. It minimises sensual excitement and moral degradation,” said Saleha of JIH Charminar branch.
Seeing the encouraging response, the JIH has decided to continue the hijab distribution campaign in Hyderabad for a few more days.