HIJAB VERSUS SAFFRON
~ Shakshi Kataria
How did the controversy start?
The controversy over wearing the hijab in Karnataka started with a government college in Udupi district. Here 6 girl students of Muslim community were banned from entering classes for wearing hijab
Raghupathi Bhat, an Udupi BJP MLA who chairs the college’s development committee, met with parents. In the classroom, he advised students to adhere to the college’s uniform code. Those six girls students decided to leave the classroom
On December 31, 2021, the students staged a protest, alleging that the college had denied them access to classrooms for the previous 15 days and after that the students petitioned the Karnataka High Court and the National Human Rights Commission.
What prompted the involvement of other educational institutions?
Following this event, a number of boys at Kundapur’s Government Pre University College wore saffron shawls shouting slogans “Jai Shri Ram” to school in protest of certain girls wearing hijab in class.
Haladi Srinivas Shetty, a Kundapura MLA, met with parents and encouraged students to follow the college’s dress code till the government makes a final decision on the matter.
The female students, on the other side, have stated that they should not be compelled to leave the college because of a “sudden change in the dress code” that prohibits hijab.
Several Hindu lads have been seen wearing saffron shawls to counteract girls wearing hijab, but they, too, have been prohibited from entering classrooms.
Several colleges in the coastal Karnataka region of Udupi have reported similar incidents.
When students from IDSG Government First Grade College arrived in Chikkamagaluru wearing blue shawls, the row took a new turn. They raised their voices in favour of Muslim females, chanting Jai Bhim chants. They stated that wearing hijab in colleges is permissible as a religious practise.
what did the government have said about it?
Students must follow the uniform/dress code imposed by College Development Committees, according to a Karnataka government decree.
Viral video of misbehaviour with Muslim girl
Meanwhile, a video is going viral in which many boys are seen misbehaving with a girl wearing a hijab. After the video surfaced, many leaders are criticizing it.
Malala also tweeted
Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has also commented on this matter. Malala said that preventing girls from entering schools wearing hijab is appalling. He said that Indian leaders should stop marginalizing Muslim women.
Hema Malini also gave a statement
BJP MP Hema Malini on Karnataka Hijab controversy: Schools are for education and religious matters should not be brought there. Every school has a uniform, which should be respected. You can wear whatever you want outside of school.
Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Karnataka Hijab controversy: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Karnataka Hijab controversy: “This has been done deliberately to polarize votes, some people are trying to fight Hindu-Muslim but Karnataka has always been united. Political parties are working behind this.“
Hearing in the High Court
Hearing on the Hijab controversy in Karnataka will be held again in the High Court today. The hearing in this matter was also held on Tuesday. Justice Krishna Dixit is hearing it. The High Court had said on Tuesday that we will follow what the Constitution says. The Constitution is the Bhagavad Gita for us. We will look into this matter under the law and not out of passion or emotions. At the same time, the Advocate General said in the Karnataka High Court, the colleges should be given the autonomy to decide the uniform; the students who want exemption should contact the college.
What do you think about this controversy? Is it matter of religious practice, or a political conspiracy?
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