BY AKHLAD KHAN @BawaNaaved
Muslim Female’s Veil-Hijab Center of Controversy In India.
A day after more than 100 boys, belonging to an Hindu dominion, arrived at the Government PU College in Kundapur constituency of Karnataka wearing saffron shawl (Saffron Hindu religious cloth) to register their protest against Muslim girls wearing headscarves inside the classrooms, the College authorities shut the door and denied entry to girls wearing a burqa or headscarf.
Students of a Karnataka college were not allowed to attend classes wearing a Hijab, the second such controversy in the state reported this year.
In a video, which went viral on social media, students of a pre-university college in Karnataka’s Kundapur coastal town of Udupi district have been seen pleading before the principal. Standing at the gate of the college, College Principal Ramakrishna himself stopped the students and told them not to attend classes if they intended to wear headscarves inside the classrooms.
However students argued that it is the act of the principal to deny education to them as the Hindu boys wore saffron shawls and arrived at the college to vitiate the academic atmosphere on Wednesday, they were coming to college and attended classes wearing hijab. Now that just two months are pending for examination, their future has been put to test.
Speaking to reporters in the district, S Angara, Udupi district-in-charge minister said that a status quo should be maintained until a further decision is taken.
“I will hold discussions with the district administration. It’s difficult to draft separate rules for every college. But if that’s been done, the government will take an informed decision. But I have a request. I have called for a meeting with the stakeholders,” Mr Angara said.
The issue started on Wednesday when some Muslim girls attended college wearing the hijab. This prompted 100 Hindu boys to wear saffron shawls.
The college administration held a meeting with Kundapur constituency MLA Haladi Srinivas Shetty and arrived on a decision that students will have to stick to a uniform rule. Thus meaning that those female students who remain firm on their stand to wear hijab were barred from entering the college.
Hijab or the veil is currently one of the most controversial issues in India. In Udupi’s Government PU College, in December’2021, six Muslim girl students had been denied entry into classrooms and were made to sit outside because they were wearing headscarves (Hijab). The students had also complained that they were not allowed to communicate in Urdu, Arabic or the native Beary language.
The girls stood outside the classroom in protest. The students stated that their parents had approached principal Rudra Gowda for talks, but he refused to discuss the matter. The matter has not yet been resolved and the Muslim girls seek justice to practice their fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion to all persons in India. It provides that all persons in India, subject to public order, morality, health, and other provisions are equally entitled to freedom of conscience, and have the right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion.
However, contrary to the Constitution the Government College in Udupi banned the veil/hijab. And on 31st December, several girls were denied permission to war hijabs inside the colleges.
Reports from the ground suggests that the intervention of the pro government right wing activists rigidly opposing the wearing of veil by female Muslim students has come to forefront of their political agenda. Controversy is enabling Islamophobic politicians to suppress the fundamental rights of the Muslim community.
Fanatic violence by Hindutva mobs targeting members of the minority communities including Muslims and Christians is being reportedly hiking in Karnataka. Many controversial issues have been recently seen surfacing the social media portals. However, the National media is yet to cover the testimonies from ground. Groups like Popular Front of Karnataka blames the incumbent government’s inaction for the Hindutva violence in the name of “Forced Conversions” and “Love Jihad”.