Inside Story

What’s behind the dispute about headscarves in Indian schools?

Ban on headscarves in classrooms triggers protests and debate about rights.

India’s constitution guarantees a secular state and religious freedom. However, minority Muslims say they face increasing harassment and discrimination from the Hindu majority.

The latest controversy revolves around a ban on headscarves in schools.

It started last month, when six Muslim female students in Karnataka state protested against being barred from class.

Hindu students held counter-demonstrations wearing scarves in saffron, a colour associated with Hindu nationalism.

Right-wing groups have been accused of fuelling the dispute.

So is this a religious issue, or a broader debate on minority rights and identity in India?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom


Fatima Khan – Journalist, The Quint

Uday Chandra – Assistant professor of government, Georgetown University

Anas Tanwir – Advocate at the Supreme Court of India