J&K is not France, says government, after schoolteacher told not to wear abaya to class
Students had boycotted classes in protest after the 29-year-old woman resigned saying she was asked to choose between her job and her religion.
The Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday took serious view of a school in Srinagar allegedly asking one of its teachers to not wear on abaya, a traditional Islamic gown, to class. The issue was raised in the state Assembly by Independent MLA Engineer Rashid three days after the incident took place in Delhi Public School Srinagar. State Education Minister Naeem Akhtar said, “We live in a multi-religious, multi-cultural set-up. We have a secular fabric [and] no force on any such issue will be accepted. We are not France,” according to The Indian Express.
The incident took place on Wednesday, when the 29-year-old Biology teacher resigned saying the school’s principal Kusum Warikoo asked her not to return to her job if she wanted to continue to wear the abaya. Students had protested against the move on Friday, boycotting classes and demanding she be reinstated.
According to The Hindu, Hurriyat faction chairman Syed Ali Geelani said the school should give an unconditional apology, and that objecting to Islamic dress could have serious consequences for the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir.
In 2010, France passed a law that bans its citizens from wearing any visible religious symbols, including hijabs and abayas, in public places.