A possible case of religious discrimination in the education sector has emerged in India. St. Germain PU College in Bangalore warned one of its Class XII students to shave off his beard in order to continue with his studies at the institute.
M. Zeeshan Ali, the student was amazed at his academy’s decision and decided to seek help from the authorities of the college who instead of sorting out the problem, offered to issue him a transfer certificate to another college. The Muslim community of the city has expressed its outrage over the matter which is a possible case of religious extremism.
It is one of the most important customs of Islam for men to keep beards. But it is also customary in religions like Sikhism as well and Sikhs constitute a significant portion of the Indian population. One wonders how such absurd school rules might affect students from the Sikh community.
Anyway, not just religious discrimination but this incident also puts a question mark on the whole ‘democratic’ image of India as well. To ask a student to leave an institution just on the basis of how he looks or wears is outright undemocratic. And especially when the student has religious sentiments and commitments attached to his actions. One should have the right to look as they want to. Isn’t this measure against the true spirit of democracy?
A Twitter user has aptly explained the whole matter in a tweet:
Shame on the teachers of St.Germain College, Bangalore for forcing a Muslim boy to shave his beard. Inequity based on religion is an offence— Abhishek Chinnappa (@abhichinnappa) May 30, 2013
The Educational authorities in India might want to take a closer look at the whole matter since this sort of discrimination or absurd dictation on student level is likely to cause outrage. It’s both religiously and politically incorrect.
Do you agree? You can share your opinion in the comments section.