Hijab Issue Twisting the Court Order

The Karnataka government has brazenly twisted the interim order of the High Court on Hijab issue to intimidate and humiliate Muslim girl students and teachers. Students and teachers are being denied entry to campus or made to remove their Hijab and/or Burqa on road. These incidents were caught in television cameras. Deputy Commissioner of Police and SP remained mute spectators.

The court order is applicable only to students and not to teachers. Wearing of religious attire or symbols are banned in colleges and not in schools. The order will apply only to colleges where CDC has mandated a dress code and even in such colleges, the students can sport religious attire within the campus but not in the classroom. Thus there is no ambiguity in the interim order, yet the Karnataka Government has passed an illegal notification barring Muslim girls from wearing the Hijab even in schools run by the Minority welfare department though the court order is clearly not applicable to them. Thus this is harassment of young Muslim students.

Therefore, the Court should take strong notice of the Government’s contemptuous behaviour and immediately issue a clarification on its interim order.

Nazeer Ahemd Kazi


Vijaypur, Karnataka

The Nightingale of India – Lata

Please refer to a letter published under the heading “Bulbul-e-Hind is No More” by Mr. Chowdhry Nisar Ahmed (Tamil Nadu) vide issue of Radiance dated: 13-19 February, 2022.

The learned letter writer has stated in his letter that Lata, known as The Nightingale of India, had recorded 30,000 songs during her lifetime. But, the facts are otherwise. Once Lata herself had written to Guinness Book of World Records that she had sung 30,000 songs. Her claim was contested by Mohd. Rafi who wrote to Guinness Book that she had sung 25,000 to 26,000 songs. He had said this fact in an interview to BBC on 11th June, 1977. Guinness Book corrected its mistake in the 1984 edition.

One more fact about the Lata and Mangeshkar family. The legendary singer and her family shared a special bond with Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, a rightist Hindu. Savarkar had composed a poem. Lata’s brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar had composed the music for the poem and the legendary singer had herself lent voice to the composition. Savarkar had written lyrics of Shat Janma Shodhitana for Lata’s father’s play Sanyasta Khadag. Lata lamented that Savarkar did not get the respect he deserved. In brief, it can be said that her entire family was and is staunch Savarkarite.

This fact should have been mentioned by the learned letter writer so that readers can evaluate secular credentials of the Mangeshkar family in general and Lata in particular.

Farooq Abdulgafar Bawani

Rajkot, Gujarat

Covid Neologisms

For the last two years, Coronavirus has led to an explosion of words in English which we have got accustomed to. Words such as ‘pandemic’, ‘quarantine’, ‘self-isolation’, ‘lockdown’ and ‘covidised’ have become a part of our everyday life. Interestingly, Covid neologisms are being coined quicker than ever.

These include ‘covidiot’ (one ignoring public health advice), ‘covideoparty’ (online parties via Zoom or Skype), and ‘covexit’ (the strategy for lockdown). Given this process of lexical innovation, it is natural that these new words enter the wider public consciousness in the way we have seen with coronavirus terminology. New words apart, absorbingly enough the word ‘wave’, which is synonymous with ‘sea’, seems to have been taken over by the pandemic as not a day passes without connecting it with the virus.

And no exaggeration, with the third wave of the virus raging, the day may not be far off when the sentence will be altered to read the other way round as “wildfire spreads like coronavirus!”

Ranganathan Sivakumar

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

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