In a Facebook post, an MLA of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Aminul Islam, has accused the authorities of a premier college in Nagaon, Assam of “saffronising” the college environment by insisting on a proper uniform.
As per Aminul, there’s no harm if a student goes to college wearing the hijab or niqab. He said, “No such decision was taken in the 60 years of the college’s existence. I would like to know where in the Constitution or the state gazette notification it is written that one cannot wear such outfits.”
Aminul is an alumnus of the institution, Anandaram Dhekial Phookan (ADP) college, himself. “The college has been imparting education to students irrespective of caste, creed, race and religion for the last 60 years but you (principal of the college) have tried to saffronise the education system in the college,” the MLA said in the post that was written in Assamese.
Aminul further stated, “You had saffronised the recently concluded Diamond Jubilee program. You showed your communal tendencies while inviting politicians. We demand that you leave this ugly communal mentality and work for the all-round development of the college instead.” He also requested student unions of the state to interfere in the matter.
It should be remembered that all colleges in Assam have a prescribed uniform including the ADP college. However, students often do not adhere to the norms strictly and hence, have to be reminded by the authorities constantly of the rules. The Principal of the college, Dr. S.K. Bhagawati, had therefore circulated a letter before the autumn vacation that students will have to wear proper uniforms while coming to college after it.
Bhagawati, in response, has asserted that of the 20% Muslim students in the college, only Aminul’s daughter attended her classes in a burqa. “All the students come to college in proper uniform as mentioned in the college prospectus. But only one student, MLA Islam’s daughter, wears burqa in college,” he said. He further stated that he was feeling threatened and has lodged an FIR over the Facebook post.