Hijab controversy in Udupi College resolved by district administration 

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By Syed Ali Mujtaba

The hijab controversy that erupted in a Government Women’s Pre University College at Udupi Karnataka has finally got resolved after the district administration’s intervention took suo-motto cognizance of the issue and convinced the Principal to let the girls enter the classroom wearing the hijab.

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“Everything was fine before we started wearing the hijab but the Principal stopped us from entering the classroom and we felt being discriminated,” said a press release quoting six girls, studying in first and second Pre University classes in Government Women’s Pre University College.

“For the past three days, we have been visiting college daily and returning home without attending the classes. We stood outside the classroom for three days in protest.”

“We were told to bring our parents to college but when they arrived, school authorities made them wait for some three to four hours,” the students alleged.

“Our parents also tried to meet the principal. But the principal was not ready to talk to them. He is insisting that hijab is not allowed inside the classrooms,” the students said.

The students also complained of being discriminated against. “We are not allowed to talk in Urdu or Beary languages, while other girls were allowed to speak in Tulu, Konkani, and Kannada languages.” The ‘aggrieved’ students feared that they might face an attendance shortage.

Meanwhile, a delegation including six students of the college along with some members of the Islamic Organization of India (GIO) approached Udupi Deputy commissioner Kurma Rao regarding the incident.

According to district authorities, six girls who were stopped from entering the classroom were part of the delegation that met Udupi Deputy Commissioner Kurma Rao and requested that the constitutional rights of the girls be protected, the press release said.

The girls alleged that the principal, Rudra Gowda, did not permit them to wear a ‘hijab’ (headscarf) in the classrooms.

The Udupi Deputy Commissioner Kurma Rao then spoke to the principal of the college and to this Principal replied that “the rule was being followed to ensure uniformity in classrooms.”

Principal Gowda clarified that there were more than 60 Muslim girl students studying in the college. “Barring these six students, none of them wear hijab,” he said.

The Udupi Deputy Commissioner eventually prevailed over the Principal and resolved the matter peacefully asking the students to enter the classroom wearing hijab.

Earlier the Campus Front of India (CFI) and The Socialist  Democratic Party of India (SDPI) had warned of intense protests if the Principal of the Government Women’s PU College was not placed under suspension for not permitting girl students to attend classes wearing the Hijab.

“If the six girl students are not allowed to attend classes, we will stage a protest against these ‘fascists’,” Udupi SDPI president Nazeer Ahmed warned.

CFI State committee member Masood Manna also demanded the suspension of teachers for not giving attendance to the girl students. He said, “religious freedom should be assured to students in the college and the college should not prevent them from practicing their religious beliefs.”

Manna said that the parents of the girl students had met the principal on three occasions and had requested him to allow their daughters to wear the headscarf. ‘No other government colleges had implemented restrictions against wearing Hijab in Karnataka,’ Manna said.

He questioned the discrimination in the college and accused college Principal Rudra Gowda of forcing students to enroll in ABVP.

Local MLA Raghupathi Bhat met the principal and reportedly said that if the Hijab was allowed, boys will wear saffron shawls in the college.

Jumping in the controversy was BJP leader Yashpal Suvarna, who is the vice president of the college’s development committee. He accused the six students of politicizing the incident.

“There are more than 100 Muslim girls who are studying in the college. It is an attempt to disturb the harmonious environment of the college,” he said.

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Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist who can be contacted at syedalimjtaba2007@gmail.com

6 COMMENTS

  1. Is it secular to wear Hijab like that? Where does secularism goes when it comes to Hijab and caps? Or is it only for Hindus and not for Sikhs and Muslims?

    • Yogi aka Hindu gutter rat

      I only see Muslim women being harassed so what nonsense are you bhnagis babbling about? All of a sudden Hindu dogs like you want to bring up secularism to deny Muslim women their religious right. What a sick joke. You’re trying to be clever but you come off as the typical low IQ Hindu gutter rat hypocrite that you are.

      Go wash some toilets, Nazi piss dinker.

      • What religious right is that to cover one’s identity in public? Give me one hadith or Quran verse agreed by all scholars, even if we forget common sense.

      • This is what they teach you in Quran? Muslims got their Pakistan then why are Muslims in India? It was a big mistake to keep Muslims in India after Muslims got their country. A little push in 1947 could have sent all Muslims to Pakistan. This Muslim Menace is not restricted to India only. All four borders sharing non-Muslim countries in Region like Sri Lanka, China, India and Myanmar are facing Muslim Nuisance. Only Myanmar and China have been successful in Treating Muslims. India has miserably failed and should now follow China and Myanmar Treatment plans.

  2. Why you have translated hijab as “headscarf” and portrayed women covering their faces? Also why you are mixing this issue with other unrelated issues so as to flare it up? Is it because it is difficult to justify covering the face itself? No one is stopping anyone wearing headscarf, but covering one’s face itself cant be justified. Basically face veil is, probably unintentional, expression of racism and apartheid by Arab women who are obviously extremely fair skinned and beautiful but look down upon black skinned people (yes, including Indians) “watching their beauty”. Otherwise there is no justification for face veil as Islam even allows women to wear jewellery, which doesnt make sense if it they have to cover the face too. Is this case applicable for Indian women who neither have the beauty or political power of Arab women? (notwithstanding the fact that it cannot be justified even for Arab women) It is deplorable that even these so called “progressive” political parties want to justify this novel practice which was hardly seen even a few decades ago and increase the communal distancing especially in the current Indian context.

  3. Reply to “Local MLA Raghupathi Bhat met the principal and reportedly said that if the Hijab was allowed, boys will wear saffron shawls in the college.”

    Let the Hindu student wear whatever they want to wear as per their custom, either it’s saree or saffron dhoti or without clothes.
    Wearing hijab is a muslim’s custom, many are following this and many aren’t. You can’t force anyone of them to wear hijab or not.

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