News Karnataka
Wednesday, November 29 2023

Hijab-shawl row: Will politics decide winner between religion, education?

hijab row reaction
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Mangaluru: Since last month, Muslim girl students in the State have been barred from wearing hijabs to schools and colleges, sparking a Hijab issue in the State. It didn’t take much time for the controversy which was first reported in a Government PU College in Udupi to spread across to other districts of the State.

The dispute of hijab vs saffron scarf has now grown so large that it has engulfed even political parties. The BJP and the Congress are vehemently opposing each other over the issue. While the BJP is supporting the Hijab ban, the opposition parties are defending Muslim girls. The BJP has slammed students who demand that hijab be allowed, terming it “Talibanisation” and “go to Pakistan.”

With students involved in creating violence in educational institutions, the controversy has resulted in widespread lathi-charges.

Following the series of incidents over hijab, people took the incident to social media platforms. Citizens and politicians shared their views on social media platforms, which has even resulted in an international outcry over the issue.

On Wednesday February 9, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra came out strongly in support of the girls protesting in favour of the hijab, saying that it is a woman’s right to choose what she wants to wear.

Taking to Twitter, she said, “Whether it is a bikini, a ghoonghat, a pair of jeans or a hijab, it is a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear. This right is GUARANTEED by the Indian constitution. Stop harassing women.” #ladkihoonladsaktihoon

In response to her tweet, BJP MLA Renukacharya said that rapes are on the rise as a result of women’s clothing. This has got him into a new controversy in the State’s ongoing hijab row. “To use a word like ‘bikini,’ it’s a low-level statement. Children should be completely clothed while attending college. As men are triggered by women’s clothing, rapes are on the rise today. This isn’t right. Women have respect in our country,” he tweeted.

However, after his tweet was widely criticised, he retracted from his statement but the damage was done.

Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambareesh said that the issue is being politicised. According to sources, she said that she supports religious rights for people. However, she believes that students and education should be kept outside of politics. She further informed that the hijab row has now more of a political battle than a religious issue and that she is concerned for the students and their education. She also said that religion should be kept outside and parties should not play politics on it.

The BJP government has declared a three-day holiday for schools and colleges from Wednesday, citing the unrest situation in various districts of the State over hijab row.

“I appeal to all the students, teachers and management of schools and colleges as well as people of Karnataka to maintain peace and harmony. I have ordered closure of all high schools and colleges for next three days. All concerned are requested to cooperate,” CM Bommai tweeted.

Meanwhile, Muskaan, a student at PES Campus of Arts, Science, and Commerce in Mandya District, was criticised by a group of people for wearing a burkha on the college premises. She confronted the crowd, chanting “Allah-hu-Akbar” while hundreds of students chased and shouted “Jai Sriram” slogans. On social media, the video went viral, causing concern across the State. Following this, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind has announced Rs. 5 lakh award for her.

It is indeed clear that political parties have used the issue in order to gain political mileage. Amidst all these, education is one of the most important treasure in one’s life which should not be denied at any cost.

The Karnataka High Court again heard the petitions from Udupi Pre-University College students and others appealing their denial of permission to wear hijab in class on Wednesday February 9, and has not given any judgement but has referred it to larger bench.

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Reshma B.

Reshma Babu, a young Postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from St. Aloysius College, Mangalore University, utilises her considerable learned journalistic knowledge and inherent story writing and sub-editing abilities to add value to the company’s media brands and the editorial team. All dimensions of human interaction are her prime focus.

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