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Hijab ban in schools not revoked yet, issue being discussed: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah takes U-turn after announcing the withdrawal

Talking to media the Karnataka CM stated, "The ban on the hijab hasn't been lifted yet. I was questioned about lifting the prohibition on the hijab. I informed them that the government is thinking about taking it away. We'll talk about it."

After announcing that his administration is immediately going to cancel an order that effectively forbade Muslim women from wearing Islamic headscarves in schools, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has made a U-turn saying that the matter is still being considered. He said that he talked about lifting the government order banning religious clothing in educational institutions having dress codes when he was asked a question about it, and no decision has been taken yet. However, he asserted that the govt order will be revoked soon.

Talking to media the Karnataka CM stated, “The ban on the hijab hasn’t been lifted yet. I was questioned about lifting the prohibition on the hijab. I informed them that the government is thinking about taking it away. We’ll talk about it.”

“We will withdraw the order. Hijab can be worn. Alright? I’ve asked for that order to be withdrawn,” the chief minister declared at the inauguration of the Kavalande, Antarsante and police stations in Nanjangud, Mysuru. “Dress, eating habits, they’re your choice. Why should I come in the way? Wear whatever dress you want. Eat what you want. What’s that to me? I’ll eat my food. You eat yours. You have your right and I have mine. It’s that simple,” he stressed.

The Congress leader added, “We (Congress) don’t discriminate based on caste or faith. BJP says ‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas.’ Where are they practising this? Those sporting a beard, skull cap and wearing a burqa are asked not to welcome. They keep lying. We’re not like that,” earlier in a program. He claimed, “We help the poor of all castes and faiths – Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains. Politics shouldn’t be done for the sake of votes. We don’t do that.”

He alleged that even people connected to the Bharatiya Janata Party are profiting from the assurances made by the Congress government. He discussed the hijab following suggestions from audience members. Using the microblogging platform X, he asserted that the decision of what to wear is a personal one. Additionally, he charged that the Bhartiya Janta Party was segregating society and people based on clothes, outfits and caste. He charged that PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas’ is bogus and he would scrap the hijab ban.

On 5 February 2022, the Bharatiya Janta Party administration issued an order that prohibited the wearing of the hijab in classrooms and required students to attend schools and pre-university campuses in the designated uniform. Early in 2022, the hijab became a contentious issue when several Muslim girls were barred from attending class due to their head covering being incompatible with the uniform. The directive issued by the BJP government commanded that students wear the uniform.

The Karnataka High Court upheld the order in March 2022 and determined that donning the headscarf was not a mandatory Islamic religious practice. When the case reached the Supreme Court, it issued a divided verdict in October 2022 over the legality of the aforementioned prohibition in the educational institutions deferring to a higher bench to make a decision.

The Karnataka hijab debate garnered international attention. Ayman Al-Zawahiri of the terrorist group Al-Qaeda exploited the controversy to attack India’s democracy and sided with the demonstrating Muslim pupils.

It is important to note that while many call it ‘hijab ban in Karnataka’, there is no such ban, and the previous BJP govt didn’t ban hijab in the state, as alleged by many Islamists and left-liberals. The govt order had banned hijab only in educational institutions that have prescribed dress codes. There is no restriction on hijab or even burqa in public places in the state.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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