Kozhikode: Muslim Educational Society (MES) has issued a circular barring the entry of students to classes wearing veil. The circular, that is likely to invite some controversy, was issued by MES President Dr PK Fazal Gafoor. The circular also mentions that it is in line with a verdict of Kerala High Court of 4 December 2019.
The circular clarifies that such attire as are not acceptable to the larger public, be it in the name of modernity or religious traditions, cannot be accepted by MES which aims at educational and cultural advancement of Muslim community. For the same reason, it has to ensure appropriateness in dress as well as in curricular and co-curricular excellence, and is bound to discourage all unacceptable tendencies in its campuses.
The circular asks respective local managements of MES colleges to implement the circular effective academic year 2019-20, in line with the High Court directive, without giving cause for controversy. The colleges are also asked to include this as a rule in the college calendar for the new year accordingly.
The said High order was in respect of a writ petition by two girl students in a school (not college, the subject of MES circular) who wanted the management of their school (Christ Nagar Senior Secondary School) to allow them to wear attire according to religious beliefs, and not insist on the specifications of the school dress code.
The High Court considered the students' petition, with reference to the fundamental right to follow their religious beliefs against the fundamental right of a private entity to manage its institution and after weighing the merits of both, treated the former as subservient and relative as against the public service interest of the school as dominant and absolute. On that basis the students' petition was dismissed. The order was specific to that case, and does not however mandate all educational institutions to ban the veil in campuses.