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Insult to Gandhiji : Tamil Nadu MLA on dropping of hymn ‘Abide with me’ from Beating Retreat ceremony

Untold India January 23, 2022

By Abdul Bari Masoud New Delhi: On Sunday, opposition politicians slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for excluding Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn, “Abide with me,” from this year’s Beating Retreat event. P Chidambaram, a senior Congress leader, said the government’s decision to remove Gandhi’s hymn had harmed “thinking and sensitive” people. ‘Abide with me,’ written in 1847 by Scottish Anglican poet and hymnologist Henry Francis Lyte, had been a part of the Beating Retreat ceremonial since 1950. However, the Indian Army said on Saturday that the hymn would not be performed at this year’s celebration. “It is very unfortunate that an old Christian hymn, which is no longer a Christian hymn but a secular hymn, has been removed from the Republic Day procession,” he continued. In the 75th year of India’s independence, the government has chosen to abolish the anthem, according to the former Union minister. President of Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and Tamil Nadu MLA Prof MH Jawahirullah joined the chorus of outrage, saying, “I strongly reject the Union Government’s decision to delete Gandhiji’s favourite song.” Jawahirullah said ‘Abide with Me’ has been played at the Vijay Chowk on the occasion of Beating the Retreat on January 29 in Vijay Chowk since 1950. The song is about the mending of hurting spirits. “The decision to erase the song is one of multiple indirect attempts to evict Gandhi’s legacy,” he said, adding that “the decision to delete the song is one of several indirect attempts to oust Gandhi’s legacy.” It’s unsurprising, given that the ruling BJP has members who praise Mahatma Gandhi’s killer, Naturam Godse.” ‘Abide with Me’ was added to the list of songs to be played during the Beating the Retreat ceremony precisely because it was Gandhi’s favorite song. It has been played for the last 71 years, he added. ‘Abide with me,’ a hymn written in 1847, is a classic. Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymn was this one. “Every year on the last day of the Republic Day celebrations, the event called Beating the Retreat has always ended with a march to the tune of ‘Abide with me,” Chidambaram told reporters. This song is part of India’s tradition and on behalf of the people of India, we urge the Union Government to include Gandhi’s favorite song ‘Abide with Me’ during the Beating the Retreat parade, said MMK leader Jawahirullah .

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K’taka hijab row triggers debate on religious practices in educational institutions

Untold India January 23, 2022

Bengaluru: The issue of wearing a hijab (head covering worn in public by Muslim women) to the colleges along with the uniform has sparked a debate in Karnataka over religious practices impacting the education system in the state. The matter has also snowballed into a controversy on whether the hijab could be considered as part of the uniform. The ruling BJP is deliberating on whether to take a call on allowing hijab as part of the uniform of college students. State Education Minister B.C. Nagesh, while opposing the wearing of hijab to classrooms, has said that a decision would be taken on the issue soon by the government. The experts as well as students are divided over the issue. Those who are in favour state that the dress code in classrooms should not indicate faith or religion as it creates barriers between students as well as teachers. Those who support the wearing of hijab say that hijab should be treated as a scarf. Hijab is black in colour and it can’t be a religious symbol as Islam is identified with the green colour. The hijab should be treated as a symbol of chastity, they maintain. The denial of permission to six girls in the Government Girls’ Pre University College in the communally sensitive district of Udupi in the state has created a controversy. Nagesh dubbed it as a political move and questioned whether centres of learning should become religious centres. Meanwhile, the girl students have decided to continue their protest until they are allowed to attend classes wearing hijab. “I have been facing the issue of hijab. We have not been allowed into the classroom just because we are wearing hijab. Though it’s our fundamental and constitutional right they are not allowing us. It’s a government college though. There is a lot of discrimination in the college, we can’t speak to each other in Urdu, we can’t say salaam to each other in the college. This matter has become communal and we are so sad about it. We did not want this to become communal,” Aliya Assadi, a protesting student explained. “Many political parties are taking advantage of this. We are just asking for basic fundamental rights. I don’t know why it is so tough to take us inside with a headscarf. We are not asking permission with burqas. Last Friday, the college principal and four professors made protesting students give an apology letter by blackmailing them that their statements on hijab are false. For basic rights do we have to do so much?” she asked. “They tease that we will never win in this protest. They called our parents many times and tried to manipulate them. I request government officials to respond on the issue and allow us to wear hijab. We don’t want options. We want to study, come up in life as well as wear hijab,” explained Almas. Eight students of the college are still protesting in the college campus for being denied entry into the classrooms for wearing hijab along with the uniform. Five of them are studying in II PUC and three students are studying I PUC. The students are turning down the demands of shunning hijab and are firm on their stand that until the government gives them permission to wear hijab and attend classes, they will sit outside the classrooms and continue to protest. They maintain that it is their religious freedom and constitutional right to wear hijab. Sathish M Bejjihally, Bengaluru City University Academic Council Member and Principal Vidya Sanskaar Institute of Science, Commerce and Management, told IANS that educational institutions should be devoid of caste, colour, religion. Students come to school for learning. There may be differences of opinion however, there should not be differences among individuals. “The dress should not indicate faith, religion. It will create barriers between students. The development may lead to clashes in the educational institutes. Swami Vivekananda has stated that education is the manifestation of perfection which is already there in the child. The child was born as ‘vishwa manava’ (global citizen), but society restricts him to become one” he said. The students wearing hijabs will miss out on peer group learning. Uniform is a comfortable cloth designed to facilitate participation of students in sports, cultural activities, he explained. However, Professor Muzaffar Assadi, Dean Faculty of Arts in ManasaGangothri in Mysuru University, explained that dress code is about decency. We should be allowed to wear hijab just as sarees, Punjabi dresses are allowed. Hijab could be treated as a headscarf and it will not hide the uniform. “If hijab could be treated as a religious symbol then students can’t come to classes with kumkum (bindi, vermillion), bangles. No public school is completely secular. Saraswathi pooja is conducted, Hindu gods’ photos will be on walls, festivals are celebrated in schools, aren’t they religious?” Assadi asks. Hijab is a symbol of chastity, not a religio

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