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Do courts in India reflect BJP’s anti-Muslim sentiments?

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The hijab ban was the stepping stone in a series of Islamophobic attacks in India. Comments by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on Prophet (PBUH) and the vicious attacks on Muslim protesters that followed reflect BJP’s anti-Islam propaganda.

However, is it only the government in India that is Islamophobic or do courts reflect the same sentiments?

It is no secret that the Indian authorities have adopted policies that systematically discriminate against Muslims. The prejudice and anti-Muslim agenda embedded in the BJP also echoes in judgements by the Indian courts.

Recently, the Karnataka High Court upheld a state government order that banned headscarves in classrooms. The Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi of the Karnataka High Court said in the judgment that: “We are of the considered opinion that wearing of hijab by Muslim women does not form a part of essential religious practice.”

The judgment also stated that the government had the power to prescribe uniform guidelines.

Needless to say, this judgment was problematic in many ways. Firstly, this judgment exposes the realpolitik of India. For a country that calls itself “socialist”, “secular”, and “democratic”, the rise of Islamophobia in India says otherwise.

Under the BJP leadership, India has become one of the most dangerous countries for its minorities. The government seems to work tirelessly toward stripping Muslims of their fundamental rights and the Karnataka judgment is proof of this.

The judgment also violates several international human rights. Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) discusses the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. In 1993, the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), in its general comment No. 22, stated that “not only ceremonial acts but also such customs as the observance of dietary regulations, the wearing of distinctive clothing or head coverings” fall under the scope of this Article.

Like many other countries, India has ratified the convention therefore it has a legal obligation to respect this provision.

Back in 2020, France passed a law Act No. 2010-1192 that stated that no one may, in a public space, “wear any article of clothing intended to conceal the face.” Arguing that this law violated their right to express their religion, two women approached the UNHRC where two landmark decisions were given in Miriana Hebbadj v. France and Sonia Yaker v. France.

The Court held that the burqa ban was a violation of the right to freedom of religion under Article 18 of the ICCPR.

Therefore, by looking at the case law, it can be understood that the burqa and hijab are protected under Article 18 of the ICCPR thus the Karnataka High Court, by banning the hijab, violated international human rights law.

The Karnataka Court based its reasoning on three grounds; equality, fraternity, and public order. The judgment achieves the opposite of equality as it bans an extremely important element of the Islamic religion.

Furthermore, there is no substantial evidence that proves that hijab is a threat to public order that justifies an absolute ban. Wearing a hijab is an external manifestation of a woman’s religious beliefs.

In this case, the judges relied on the “essentiality test” in order to determine whether the hijab is essential or not. By deciding what is essential in religion, the judges are entering into a theological terrain. Judges all around the world, especially in non-Muslim countries tend to know very little about Islam.

Deciding on important questions such as the one posed in this case should only be decided by jurists or theologians who understand the religion and the court should have relied on their rulings.

Judges deciding such important matters can and unfortunately has led to dangerous circumstances.

Current India has become extremely dangerous for its minorities, especially Muslims. India under the right-wing BJP seems to be committed to targeting Muslims and the recent events in the country seem to be proof of this.

International forums should have taken notice of the hijab ban as a serious violation of the human rights of Muslims in India. By choosing to ignore this, the world paved the way for more serious attacks on Muslims.

The recent remarks by Nupur Sharma have exposed the true sentiments of the BJP government towards Muslims. The recent surge in violence should not go unnoticed and India should be held accountable for its actions.

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Today is the observance of World Day Against Child Labor.

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Today, the World Day Against Child Labour is being commemorated globally, including in Pakistan.

The goal of celebrating this day is to promote awareness about child labour and inspire efforts to eliminate this societal injustice.

The number of child laborers in Pakistan has surpassed 20 million as a result of poor legislation and inadequate remedies. The prevalence of child labor in Punjab is 14 percent.

Child labour is on the rise, despite governments’ announcements of measures to address the issue, they have failed to take significant action.

The head of a non-governmental organization (NGO) stated that the issue of child labor necessitates the implementation of a comprehensive and enduring strategy.

Over 10 million children in Punjab are currently not attending school and are instead forced to engage in laborious work.

Additionally, the provincial minister for education has declared intentions to offer exclusive remuneration for enrolling children in schools, while also ensuring that pupils receive instruction in practical skills.

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TikTok plans to introduce an image search capability in order to directly compete with Google.

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TikTok, a Chinese short video platform, is now conducting a trial of a novel functionality that enables users to capture or submit images in order to discover comparable products within the TikTok Shop, as reported by TechCrunch.

TikTok, the current leader in social media, is now aiming to enter Google’s domain in the field of search, indicating a direct competition against Google’s control in visual search.

The functionality, originally observed by user Jonah Manzano, is presently accessible to users residing in the United States and Southeast Asia. Users that have access to the feature will see a camera symbol that is integrated.
This feature allows users to effortlessly search for products by capturing or uploading photographs, eliminating the requirement for written descriptions.

For example, if you are eating at a restaurant and like the dish that is presented on a certain plate, you can take a fast photo using the TikTok app to discover comparable goods that you can buy.

Similarly, if you come across an expensive item while shopping online, you can save its image and use TikTok’s image search feature to locate similar, more affordable options.

Although TikTok Shop has previously utilized conventional search methods, this new advancement represents a notable deviation by harnessing the capabilities of visual search, similar to Google Lens.

TikTok’s decision is a calculated maneuver aimed at not only attracting users’ interest in finding new products but also promoting sales within its e-commerce network.

This development is not only a criticism of Google or Amazon; it is a more extensive effort to rival other participants in the field of visual search and e-commerce, such as Klarna and rising businesses like Cherry.

TikTok’s shift towards e-commerce is apparent in its recent announcement that TikTok Shop accommodates more than 15 million vendors worldwide, including a significant presence in the United States.

The company has made significant investments in platform safety, dedicating more than $400 million and establishing a staff of 7,500 personnel to guarantee the integrity of TikTok Shop.

TikTok continues to pursue its e-commerce goals, while encountering regulatory obstacles, especially in the United States.

TikTok’s momentum remains unaffected by President Biden’s recent measure, which indicates a possible prohibition if ByteDance does not divest the platform.

However, the corporation regards e-commerce as a strategic source of income and a method to maintain consumer involvement within its ecosystem.

TikTok is continuously expanding and improving its TikTok Shop to encourage more user interaction and spending. This will help establish TikTok as a strong competitor in the e-commerce industry.
in the search bar of TikTok Shop.

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The Traffic Response Unit in Lahore was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Punjab.

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On Wednesday, the Traffic Response Unit was inaugurated in Lahore by Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz.

During this event, the chief minister examined the motorcycles of the traffic response team. She engaged in a discussion with the wardens and questioned about the training and other related topics.

In addition, she monitored the message via a public address system in the event of a traffic congestion. Following the establishment of the Traffic Response Unit, a dedicated meeting was convened to discuss traffic management, with CM Maryam Nawaz presiding as the chairperson.

The chief minister established a specific time limit to enhance the movement of vehicles in Lahore. Maryam Nawaz instructed to offer an alternative location for wheel-carts to ensure the smooth movement of traffic.

In addition, she oversaw the implementation of measures to enforce lane discipline in all situations and initiated an awareness campaign targeting rickshaws and motorbikes to encourage them to stay inside their designated lanes.

The discussion involved an evaluation of the installation of the Intelligence Traffic Signal Management System in Lahore. She instructed relevant agencies to develop efficient and enduring strategies to address the problem of encroachments on highways.

CM Maryam also instructed the restoration of the screens that were established for traffic instruction. During the meeting, CTO Ammara Azhar provided a briefing stating that the specialized traffic response team will promptly respond to traffic congestion within 15 minutes of receiving a call.

The specialized unit, comprised of 50 robust motorcycles and 100 enforcers, would promptly undertake measures to alleviate the traffic congestion. In order to fulfill this objective, the Traffic Response Unit has undergone a specialized training program lasting one month.

Additionally, the Chief Technology Officer stated that the Traffic Response Unit received first aid training from the Red Crescent. Each motorbike will be equipped with a public address system and a first aid box. The traffic wardens will also capture footage using a specialized camera.

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