Protest At Delhi University Against Hijab Restrictions On Muslim Students In Udupi

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After colleges denied entrance to students wearing hijab citing it not to be part of the “proper uniform” in Karnataka’s Udupi, a students’ outfit at Dehli University took up the cause and held protests. The students’ group, Muslim Students’ Federation extended support to Muslim students who are being barred from attending classes at multiple colleges in Udupi following an escalation of the hijab row.

The protest by the Federation took place outside the Arts Faculty in the North Campus of the Delhi University. The protesting group comprised 50 students, which included women wearing hijabs. The banners carried by them included, “We, the people of Muhammad, will fight hate” and “in solidarity with the students of Karnataka.” The moot point of the group was to raise their voice against the prevailing discrimination against Muslim students in the state.

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Multiple educational institutes in Udupi, Shivamogga, Bagalkote and other parts of Karnataka have seen an increase in protests, which are for and against hijabs. Yesterday, visuals from a college in Mandya district showed a group of boys in saffron shawls shouting Jai Shree Ram, instigating a girl in hijab to shout back Allah Hu Akbar in anger. This prompted the entire group to rush behind her.

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The girl, identified as Muskan later said, “I was going to college to submit an assignment. There were some people who were not allowing me to go to the college because I was wearing a burqa. They were asking me to remove the burqa and then go inside.”

This is not a lone incident in the hijab row that emerged from the state yesterday. As the Karnataka High Court started the hearing of the case against hijab restrictions, which will be continued today, instances of protest and shouting slogans heightened in the state.

Nobel laureate Malala Yousadzai has also tweeted on the ongoing controversy, “Refusing to let girls go to school in their hijab is horrifying.” She tweeted an article by the Scroll on the students account of the hijab ban and quoted, “College is forcing us to choose between studies and the hijab.”

She also wrote, “Objectification of women persists–for wearing less or more. Indian leaders must stop the marginalisation of Muslim women.”

Meanwhile, yesterday, the opposition party staged a walkout in Lok Sabha with the demand of a statement from the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the hijab row in Karnataka. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister Praladh Joshi, who is MP from Dharwad in Karnataka, said, “All students must follow the dress code prescribed by the school and administration. Law and order must be maintained in the state. We need to see who are these people instigating the students.”

Today, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra further tweeted, “Whether it is a bikini, a ghoonghat, a pair of jeans or a hijab, it is a women’s right to decide what she wants to wear. This right is GUARANTEED under the Indian constitution. Stop harassing women. #ladkihoonladsaktihoon”