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Karnataka college bans hijabs, saffron scarves inside campus to defuse tension

Last month, a section of students had turned up wearing saffron scarves and asked their female Muslim classmates not to wear hijabs during classes.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: January 13, 2022 3:30:13 am
The degree college has around 850 students of which a quarter are Muslim.

A state-run college in Balagadi village in Karnataka’s Chikkamagaluru district has decided to ban hijabs and saffron scarves on the campus. The decision was taken at a meeting with the parents of students on Wednesday.

Last month, a section of students had turned up wearing saffron scarves and asked their female Muslim classmates not to wear hijabs during classes.

Principal Ananth Murthy told indianexpress.com, “The officials were part of the meeting and it was decided that Hindu students will not sport saffron scarves and Muslim girl students will not wear hijabs but they can wear a shawl to cover their heads. If anyone violates the rule, they would be dismissed from the college.”

The degree college has around 850 students of which a quarter are Muslim. A faculty member, who did not reveal his name, said some people were trying to instigate hatred.

Notably, most government-run degree colleges in the state do not have uniforms though the one in Balagadi is an exception.

In 2018, the college had faced the same issue and the rule was brought. An officer working in the higher education department said that the issue of dress code “has cropped up in recent years.”

Campus Front of India (Karnataka) state secretary Syed Sarfaraz Gangavathi welcomed the decision of the college authorities. “The Constitution allows the wearing of hijab or saffron shawls but it should not be instigated by anyone or politically motivated,” he said.

Former National Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) Harsha Narayan said that schools and colleges should be kept away from religious practices. “We are ready to join any organisation (including Campus Front of India) to keep away religious practices from schools and colleges,” he added.

Recently, the principal of a government PU college In Udupi district stopped Muslim girls from entering the campus as they were wearing hijabs. However, the latter were allowed entry after they approached the deputy commissioner of Udupi, Kurma Rao, stating that their constitutional rights were being violated.

 

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