The ‘hijab ban’ in Karnataka has ‘imperilled’ the right to education of a whole generation of Muslim girls, and it has resulted in a high dropout rate among this segment of the population, says a recent report published by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).
The report titled ‘Impact of Hijab Ban in Karnataka’s Educational Institutions’ states that Muslim students have been facing harassment, insult, and humiliation in and outside the classrooms, following the hijab row.
A team comprising Aishwarya Ravikumar, Kishor Govinda, Poorna Ravishankar, Ramdas Rao Shashank SR and Swathi Shukla was formed to undertake the study. The PUCL said the objective of the study was to understand the impact of the government’s notification banning the hijab in classrooms and the Karnataka High Court judgment regarding the matter at the grassroot level.
The team visited villages in Hassan district, Mangalore city, Ullal, Hoode, Udupi town, and Raichur town and met with Muslim girl students to understand their experiences and concerns vis-a-vis the hijab row.
The report claims that the ban on wearing the hijab was implemented by college authorities ‘hastily, arbitrarily and without providing any prior notice’.
The study has recommended that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai rescind the notification authorizing the prohibition of the wearing of the hijab. It has also urged the court to conduct an inquiry to find out why the state government took the decision to ban the hijab.
The report also appeals to the court to issue a directive to the government to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into lost years and expenses incurred as a result of the hijab notification and ensure that compensation is paid to the affected women and their families.