‘Can’t give up hijab’: Students, parents in Karnataka stay firm | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Can’t give up hijab’: Students, parents in Karnataka stay firm

By, Hindustan Times, Udupi
Feb 16, 2022 03:24 AM IST

Muslim girls and women were seen having to remove their hijabs and burqas while those that stood their ground were turned back when they tried to attend classes and there were angry exchanges outside of schools and college in Karnataka.

Muslim girls and women were seen having to remove their hijabs and burqas while those that stood their ground were turned back when they tried to attend classes and there were angry exchanges outside of schools and college in Karnataka, where tensions remained high over the issue for a second straight day.

Women and girls holding placards stage a peaceful protest over the hijab ban imposed in the few colleges in Karnataka, near Shanthi Nagar Hockey Stadium, in Hyderabad on Tuesday. (ANI)
Women and girls holding placards stage a peaceful protest over the hijab ban imposed in the few colleges in Karnataka, near Shanthi Nagar Hockey Stadium, in Hyderabad on Tuesday. (ANI)

Parents were seen arguing with teachers for denying entry into institutions in towns like like Chikmagaluru, about 170 kms from Udupi, which the epicentre of the hijab row.

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“Does she have a hijab or burqa? She has put her hijab inside her bag. She has draped the veil (dupatta) of her school uniform on her head but they are still saying she cannot go in. What is the problem in this? This does not violate any court or government order. What is the problem now? You (teachers and school administration) itself do not have any clarity on this issue,” said one parent, surrounded by several others.

In Udupi, parents of students from the Maulana Azad High school staged a protest after their children were asked to sit in a separate room, forcing the police to clear the crowd as prohibitory orders were in effect around all educational institutions in the coastal district.

“We have grown up wearing hijab since our childhood and we cannot give it up. I will not write the exam and I will go home,” one student told reporters in Shivamogga after being denied entry into class with the headscarves.

Similar scenes were seen across several parts of Karnataka as teachers tried to stop students entering with hijabs after the Karnataka High Court (HC) last Thursday said that no religious attire will be allowed with uniforms at institutions that prescribe specific unforms until a final verdict is delivered in the case.

The situation across Karnataka remained tense as the Basavaraj Bommai-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government decided to reopen classes for PU and degree colleges after almost one week of forced closure to contain the growing instances of conflict between hijab-wearing Muslim students and their saffron-clad classmates.

PTI reported that at a government school in Indavara village in Chikkamagaluru district, parents barged into the school, demanding that the order denying their children entry be given in writing.

School authorities declared a holiday, pre-empting more trouble.

The police were seen creating a human wall between angry parents and insistent teachers, not willing to take any action that could lead to bigger problems.

However, eight students of the government Urdu primary school in Mallar, who came wearing hijabs, were allowed to write their examinations. Education department officials visited the school, PTI reported.

Students and parents argue that the hijab was normal practice in many schools who have since the controversy used the HC order to deny entry.

Around 80 high school students refused to turn up for class at the government Urdu school in Karnataka’s Kalaburagi district, in the north eastern part of the state, forcing the teacher who was also hijab-clad to resort to online classes.

Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, Karnataka’s minister for higher education on Tuesday appealed for calm and peace as PU and degree colleges reopen on Wednesday. He said that parents and students must refrain from creating confusion, sloganeering, comments and criticism and maintain peace and harmony.

“In degree colleges, there are no conditions on uniforms. But don’t try anything. Respect everyone’s sentiments. Come and educate yourselves, become good citizens and serve the nation,” Narayan said.

He said that anyone who violates the law will not be spared.

“There is no opportunity to wear (hijab) it and nor will we allow it to be worn. We have to follow the law. In degree colleges, there are no restrictions and they can wear it. But in high schools and pre-university college, where uniforms are prescribed, they should wear only that,” the minister said.

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