The controversy over hijabs in classrooms spreading out of Karnataka and being heard by its high court is an internal matter of India, and other countries have no right to comment on it, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.
"This is not a matter for the Ministry of External Affairs. Being an internal matter of India, any comment on it by an outsider or another country is not welcome," Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson of the ministry, said in response to a question at briefing.
"We have a constitutional mechanism, judicial system and democratic ethos. This gives us a framework to find solutions to such things. And this issue is sub-judice. Karnataka High Court is looking into it," he added.
"Outsiders have no right to comment on internal issues and matters relating to India's constitution and its people," Mr Bagchi said.
The comment follows similarly worded rebuttals by the government to remarks by the US and an intergovernmental organisation of Muslim nations called OIC on the controversy surrounding the right to wear religious headscarves in schools and colleges.
Going a little firmer on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, the External Affairs Ministry had said, "The communal mindset of the OIC Secretariat does not allow for a proper appreciation of these realities. OIC continues to be hijacked by vested interests to further their nefarious propaganda against India."
"As a result, it has only harmed its own reputation," India said, pointing out that that this was not the first time the Jeddah-headquartered organisation with 57 member states has given a "motivated and misleading statement... on matters pertaining to India."
The foreign ministry's latest comment comes as the for the fifth day in a row, the Karnataka High Court deliberated the recent ban on school girls wearing the hijab imposed by Karnataka authorities.
Senior schools reopened in Karnataka on Wednesday a week after authorities closed them in the face of protests against a ban on students wearing the hijab in class.