Karnataka: Saffron Shawl-Clad Girls Join Chorus Against Hijab In Classrooms

Students In Saffron Shawls
Girl students in saffron shawls took to the streets of Kundapur, Udupi to protest the wearing of hijab in classrooms, videos that surfaced Saturday show. The ongoing communal row concerns young Muslim women donning hijabs demanding the right to continue classes, which they have allegedly been debarred from doing in multiple Karnataka colleges.

Chanting slogans of ‘Jai Shree Ram,‘ Hindu students joining the chorus in favour of a hijab ban in classrooms are protesting wearing saffron clothes, as the row escalates.

Women in hijab are allegedly being denied entry in at least five institutions in the state. Colleges are stating the headscarves typically worn by Muslim women are not part of the uniform and students are not permitted to wear them during lessons. More here.

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As per reports, for the first time since such incidents of agitation against the hijab were reported from Udupi in December 2021, police were deployed at a college on Friday. After a group of women clad in hijabs was allegedly turned away from their college, they sat in protest outside the gates.

Young Hindu men and women reacted by making a show of saffron scarves on the campus. Hindustan Times reports at a university in Byndoor, women in hijab and men in saffron scarves were both denied entry, with college authorities demanding they remove those clothing items in order to attend classes.

Araga Jnanendra, Karnataka Home Minister, said students should wear neither hijab nor saffron scarves on campus.

“Schools are the place where children belonging to all religions should learn together and imbibe a feeling that we are not different, and all are children of Bharat Mata,” he told the press.

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The hijab row began last year when Udupi’s Government Women’s Pre-University College enforced a ban on the headscarf to maintain “uniformity.” Seven girls in hijabs were denied entry into their classes; as per reports, the number was higher but some students gave in to the pressure of college authorities, citing fear of not being issued exam hall tickets.