Principal Dr. Lynette Morris has said that a committee has been formed to discuss the demands of the students.
Thiruvananthapuram: In a move worth rekindling the debate on hijab, seven students of a medical college in Kerala have written to the principal asking how to balance following hijab rules and performing surgical duties.
Students pursuing MBBS at Thiruvananthapuram’s Government Medical College in a letter to the college authorities said that according to their religious beliefs, “It is mandatory for Muslim women to wear hijab under all circumstances…”
The letter further reads, “Muslims wearing hijab find it difficult to strike a balance between wearing religious dress and following hospital and operating room rules…”
The letter further suggests alternatives based on those offered by garment manufacturers for healthcare workers and surgical procedures in other parts of the world.
The letter states, “Long-sleeved scrub jackets and surgical hoods are available, which make it possible to maintain the hijab while taking hygiene precautions…” The letter requests the principal to allow them to wear these as soon as possible. Has been done.
Principal Dr. Lynette Morris has said that a committee has been formed to discuss the demands of the students. The principal told the media, “The demand of the students cannot be acceded to at present… International standards are maintained in the operation theatres, and patient safety is of paramount importance…”
Stating that he cannot take a decision on this matter alone, he said that the committee constituted for this will find a solution within 10 days.
The students’ request comes in the backdrop of events in Karnataka last year, when the then BJP government banned the hijab in educational campuses. Public opinion was divided on this issue. One section argued that religious traditions have no place in educational institutions and the other section saw the ban on hijab as an attack on the rights of minorities.
After this the matter went to court, and the Karnataka High Court upheld the government’s order saying that hijab is not a compulsory practice in Islam. This decision was challenged in the Supreme Court. A two-judge bench gave a split verdict, in which one judge upheld the High Court’s decision and the other rejected it. The Supreme Court has said that a three-judge bench will be formed to hear the matter.