K’taka Hijab row: Muslim students defy govt order to shun ‘hijab’

Female Muslim students of Karnataka

Bengaluru:  Despite the Karnataka government forming a high-level committee to decide on the “hijab” row and uniform code, the stalemate continued in the state with Muslim students refusing to attend classes without veil.

Meanwhile, Education Minister B.C. Nagesh and local BJP MLA Raghupathy Bhat on Thursday termed it an “international conspiracy”.

The Muslim students of the Government Girl’s College of Udupi in Karnataka have refused to shun “hijab” and attend classes in uniform until the report of the high-level committee formed in this regard is submitted. They have also flatly refused to attend classes online as suggested by local BJP MLA Raghupathy Bhat.

The Government Order in this regard directed the students to maintain status quo with the normal uniform until the further order.

The Education Minister questioned that why this kind of problems arise only few pockets of the country these problems arise? The forces against the nation are behind this, he opined.

The debate on uniform has been carried out throughout the country. Elders have made uniforms so that no child feels inferior. In Udupi College, School Management and Development Committee (SDMC) has made a rule since 1985. Parents, teachers are conveyed with this message. But, few students are protesting.

The government has considered this very seriously and a high-level committee has been formed to decide on the uniform. Till then, no education institute in the state whether government or private can’t change rules regarding uniform. The institutions are being given right to continue with their earlier guidelines, he stated.

Once the report is submitted, the matter will be discussed with the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and until then status quo has to be maintained, he explained.

Raghupathy Bhat, Udupi BJP MLA stated that the matter is being resolved cordially. If the issue is left to the parents and students of the college and Muslims of Udupi, it can be resolved in one hour. It is not a problem at all. The problem is created by outsiders, he said.

The uniform problem suddenly surfaced after Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) won three seats in Kapu local elections. There is a big conspiracy, he added.

A.H. Almas, the protesting student when asked about attending online classes, stated that they are science students and required to attend lab classes and how will they be able to learn it online. When asked about them being asked to go to the college of their choice where hijab is allowed, she asked why they should go to other college as they are studying in a government college.

“We are not being allowed sit outside the classroom and hear lecturing. If we discuss with any of our classmates on studies and get notes, they will be called to chamber and warned not to help us. We are harassed. Those who are now not wearing hijabs will also start wearing if it is allowed. It is a very shameful matter for the government officials to not allow us to attend classes as they are not allowing our fundamental rights,” Almas and other protesting students explained.

The Campus Front of India issued a statement that it vehemently condemns the government’s idea of banning the hijab in colleges that are contrary to the constitution’s intent. The government should take necessary steps to address this issue and allow students to wear hijab with uniforms.

“Despite the issue being discussed at national and international levels, the silence of the department of undergraduate education, who should have intervened, is causing suspicion towards the department. The minister of Education’s irresponsible statement that the hijab is ‘indisciplined’ results from a sense of religious intolerance too. While looking into these series of events, it is clear that the government and the Department of Undergraduate Education, who should upheld justice have continued to be unjust. Their inaction will be legally questioned,” stated State President Athaulla Punjalkatte.– IANS



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