A day after a controversy erupted over girl students wearing hijab in government schools in Rajasthan, State School Education Minister Madan Dilawar warned of strict action wherever the dress code was not being followed. Minister of State for Home, Jawaharsingh Bedham, said that students should not come to school in “oot-patang (absurd) attire.”
Earlier this week, the BJP MLA from Rajasthan’s Hawa Mahal, Balmukund Acharya, had objected to girls wearing the hijab at a government school, prompting Cabinet minister Kirodi Lal Meena to say he would talk to Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma about enforcing a ban on the head covering in all government and private schools in the state.
On Tuesday, Dilawar said, “Government orders (regarding dress code) will have to be followed in schools and in other government institutions and the students will have to adhere to the dress code.” He said that orders to ensure adherence to dress code are already in place “and there will be action wherever irregularities are found.”
On students reportedly offering namaaz in schools, Dilawar said he “will not let religious conversion take place in schools and take the strictest action against conversion.”
Minister Bedham said, “There have been government orders from time to time regarding dress code, which has been specified by the Education Department. When we used to study too, we used to go in school dress. And students should be allowed to come to school only in that dress, because the government as well as the NGOs also give school dresses.”
He said that students should not come to schools in “oot-patang (absurd)” attire as schools are a temple of education and this will also lead to discipline and a “better mental state” among students.
Meanwhile, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) also backed the demand to impose a uniform dress code in schools. VHP’s Kshetriya Mantri Suresh Upadhyay said there should be uniform dresses in schools to ensure discipline. He said the purpose of uniform in schools is to create a feeling of equality among the students and prevent social, economic, religious or any other kind of discrimination due to their dress.