Sunday, July 11, 2010

Court decisions on Hindi/Burqa

Is Hindi our national language?

In one of the previous articles, Hindi is a North Indian Language, I said that Hindi is not our national language, though many Indians seem to believe that.

Recently, Gujarat High Court has observed that Hindi is not a national language because there is nothing on record to suggest it. 

The court observed, “Normally, in India, majority of the people have accepted Hindi as a national language and many people speak Hindi and write in Devanagari script but there is nothing on record to suggest that any provision has been made or order issued declaring Hindi as a national language of the country.”

Hindi remains an official language.  So does English.  One of the key recommendations I make to emancipate the downtrodden in India is to teach their subjects in English.  All government schools in India should embrace English as medium of instruction right away.  The elite, the politicians and other Indophiles who are keen on protecting the regional language could send their kids to private schools where the medium of instruction is a regional language.

Supreme Court doesn’t allow veiled women IDs

In another landmark decision, Supreme Court of India has asked the veiled women to lift their veil for voter identification. 
The Court explained that ‘right to vote’ is only a ‘statutory right’ and not a ‘fundamental right’ and rejected the argument that religion prohibits women from lifting their veils and clearly stated that burqa-clad women cannot be issued voter identity cards.

… asking `purdah-nashin' women to lift their veil for being photographed would amount to sacrilege as their photographs would be seen by many men working as polling agents and electoral officials.

It will hurt their religious sentiments and the Election Commission must not insist on `purdah-nashin' women to be photographed for inclusion of their name in the electoral rolls…

However the Bench said:
The photograph is for identification of a voter. If someone comes to vote in a burqa and the photograph was also taken with veil covering the face, how would anyone identify the voter?

If you have such strong religious sentiments, and do not want to be seen by members of public, then do not go to vote. You cannot go with burqa to vote. It will create complications in identification of voters.

While some Muslims groups opposed the verdict, it was hailed by many Muslim groups in India.  India should go ahead and dismiss every case that cites ‘hurt religious sentiments’ as the reason.  A religion and its blind followers can get hurt for almost anything and therefore should not be a ground at all for a legal case.

1 comment:

  1. "A religion and its blind followers can get hurt for almost anything and therefore should not be a ground at all for a legal case."



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