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‘Hijab is discriminatory, it divides students into Muslims and non-Muslims’: Hindu students in Karnataka explain why they want uniform dress code

"When we sit together in class, there should be a feeling of equality. We are all friends. We do not need to get into any discrimination that one is Muslim and the other is not. Till today, we did not even know that some of these girls are Muslims. All of a sudden, they have started wearing hijab", Hindu girls in Karnataka explain why they are protesting against Hijab.

The ongoing Hijab controversy in Karnataka seems to be not ending any time soon, as the civil society members, the Hindu groups, have now stepped up their protest against the provocative act of Muslim students to violate the existing uniform guidelines enforced by the state government.

The Muslim students, backed by the PFI and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, have been disobeying the uniform dress code rules and insisting on wearing the Islamic attire of Burqa inside the classroom. The college authorities in Udupi have been pleading the girls to follow the dress code and start attending classes, but the Muslim students have made it clear that Hijab is the priority for them and the college should bend to their demands.

In response, Hindu students have also launched a protest, saying that if Muslim girls are allowed an exemption to the dress code on religious grounds, they will be coming to college with saffron shawls too.

Earlier, we had reported that several girl students had joined the boys to protest by wearing saffron shawls. Last week, videos had gone viral in which girl students adorning saffron shawls took a march to protest against hijabs. In addition, they chanted Jai Shri Ram slogans to show support to their fellow students who were not allowed to enter campus for wearing saffron shawls.

Speaking to the media, the Hindu girl students have raised pertinent questions about the discrimination they will face if the government allows Muslims to wear hijab inside the campus.

One girl student said, “They claim that they wear Hijab because of the bad-mannered looks of the male students. Are we not girls too? Don’t we need protection? What about (Hindu) girls?

She also asked the authorities about what is the purpose of making a common uniform for all the students? “It means that everybody is equal. In a college or school, all students are equal. If they (Muslims) can be allowed to wear Hijab, we will also wear saree, kumkum, and flowers,” the girl said.

The girl student also stated that they hope the court will uphold justice and will not show bias towards Muslims. She also stated that they have no objection to the Muslim girls wearing hijabs or burqa outside the college or even at their homes. “But in the campus, the uniform dress code has to be followed by all students”, she asserted.

“Let them wear Hijab; we are not against it. But, they should not be allowed to wear it inside the campus and class. We will treat them with respect and equality, we do not treat anybody as Hindus or Muslims. Have we ever differentiated them based on religion? No? When we treat them as friends, why do they say the hijab is ours? This is different. If this continues, we know what to do,” the protesting student said.

Another girl student also voiced her opinion on the issue, saying that she had come out of college to fight for equality for everyone.

“If they want to wear Hijab, let them wear and come, but only till the entrance of the campus. We are all one. Women are all one. If they want to follow their religion, they can do it at home. If she does not wear a hijab inside her house, why should she wear it outside? Who will look at her in a bad manner? Are we not girls too? So no one would see them in a bad way. So when they come to school, they need to remove it. If they come with Hijab, we will also wear sarees as even we have a right to follow our religion. If they follow the rules, we will also do it. We are all equal,” the saffron shawl-clad girl student added.

A Hindu student noted that they were are all students, and there should be some uniformity. The girl student asserted that it is not right to discriminate against the students.

“Wearing a hijab will lead to discrimination between students; we do not like it. When we sit together in class, there should be a feeling of equality. We are all friends. We do not need to get into any discrimination that one is Muslim and the other is not. Till today, we did not even know that some of these girls are Muslims. All of a sudden, they have started wearing hijab”.

Hijab controversy turns violent, schools, colleges closed for 3 days

The protest of some Muslim girls against the uniform regulations in educational institutions has now taken a dangerous turn in Karnataka after several incidents of stone-pelting and clashes. The government has declared the closure of the schools and colleges as the High Court hears the petition filed by a Muslim girl.

Interestingly, though the narrative over the entire controversy is about the hijab, which is the headscarf that covers the hair and neck, the Muslim girls are usually seen in full-body black burqas.

Yashpal Suvarna, the Vice President of the College Development Committee, said that even though 150 Muslim students are studying in the college, none of them has made this demand. According to him, eight girls, allegedly belonging to CFI, wanted to create a controversy.

Meanwhile, Karnataka’s Primary & Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh also said that they suspect that the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political arm of the PFI, is instigating the Muslim students in the ongoing Hijab controversy.

Earlier, a report revealed how the notorious radical Islamic outfit Campus Front of India (CFI) – the student wing of Popular Front of India and banned radical terror outfit Jamaat-e-Islam Hind counselled Muslim students to orchestrate the Hijab controversy in Karnataka.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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