As the Karnataka High Court is hearing petitions by Muslim students demanding the right to wear hijab in educational institutions instead of uniforms, a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court demanding dress code in educational institutions in the country.
Nikhil Upadhyay, son of advocate Ashvini Kumar Upadhyay, has filed a public interest litigation petition in the supreme court seeking directions to the Central and State governments to implement a common dress code in all registered and State recognized educational institutions across the country. It is notable that the Karnataka High Court has ordered students not to wear Hijab in colleges till the matter is being heard, and the Supreme Court has refused to intervene in the matter when the pro-Hijab students had approached the apex court against the interim order of the high court.
The petition filed by Upadhyay puts forth that in order to secure social equality, assure dignity and promote fraternity, unity, and national integration, a uniform dress code in educational institutions is very essential.
The plea says “Common Dress Code is not only necessary to enhance the values of equality, social justice, democracy and to create a just and humane society but also essential to curtail the biggest menace of casteism, communalism, classism, radicalism, separatism, and fundamentalism.”
Quoting the examples of various countries like the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Singapore, and China, this plea claims that, the educational campuses of these countries adhere to a common dress code despite frequent challenges to the constitutionality of dress guidelines.
In this petition, it is further said, “Petitioner submits that according to a survey, around 2,50,000 guns were brought in schools and colleges in 2018. So, having a Common Dress Code that requires a student’s beltline exposed reduces the fear of a concealed weapon.”
The petitioner has also said that the common dress code reduces violence and promotes a more positive educational environment. In the petition, it is said, “It reduces other forms of violence that occur due to socio-economic differences. It ensures that every student looks relatively same which reduces the chances of bullying in schools.”