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B Upendran | HENB | Udupi | Feb 4, 2022:: The current controversy over girl students belonging to Muslim community wearing hijab to a college in Karnataka’s Udupi has now become a hijab versus saffron shawl standoff in some coastal towns of the district. In a fresh incident on Friday, Hindutva outfits organized Hindu boys to wear saffron shawl to the Government Pre-University College in Byndoor.
The incident took place despite Muslim girl students of the college removing their burqa before entering campus. A government circular enforcing a “dress code” asking students to wear a “proper uniform” has been enforced in some colleges of the coastal district.
However, in this matter, the principal of the college, however, reportedly intervened in an effort to stop Hindutva outfits from enforcing a “saffron shawl campaign”.
Earlier on February 2, 40 Hindu boys of the Government Pre-University College in Kundapur entered their classrooms wearing saffron shawls. They said they were protesting against girls wearing hijab to campus and said if the government had issued a rule for a uniform, then it should be for all, and that there should be no exception for different castes and religions.
The involved right-wing outfit, Hindu Jagarana Vedike, has threatened to start a “saffron shawl movement” across the region, especially wherever Muslim girls were being allowed to wear the hijab at educational institutions. It had even threatened that it will ask Hindu boys in the districts to wear saffron shawls to their classrooms if Muslim girls were allowed to wear the headscarves.
The hijab controversy has been brewing for a month now, with many college development committees arranging meetings with parents of Muslim girls. Even Karnataka education minister Nagesh has said the dress code must be implemented, and that there was no place for religious symbols in attire on campuses.
The controversy erupted when six girls wearing the hijab were barred from entering their classroom at a Government PU College in Udupi. They have, meanwhile, continued to sit outside their college in protest. One of the protesting students has even approached the Karnataka High Court, seeking relief. The students have claimed that their fundamental rights were being violated and they were being denied the right to education.
Leader of opposition in the Karnataka assembly, Siddaramaiah said education was a fundamental right. “Is this not a violation of fundamental rights to prevent them from college. Girls of Muslim community should not be deprived of education,” he said.
His comments came a day after state home minister Araga Jnanendra said neither hijab nor saffron shawls should be allowed in schools, and that an educational institution was “not a place for religious observance”.
But, the Hijab vs Saffron Shwal controversy is seemingly growing in the region as students of some educational institution came to street in Udupi wearing saffron shawl+ to register their protest to stop the encroachment of Hijab inside school-colleges-universities as an infiltration of Islamic culture all over.
__inputs from News18 and Social Media.
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