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Wearing hijab is ’Indiscipline’: Edu minister B C Nagesh on students’ protest

Wearing hijab is ’Indiscipline’: Edu minister B C Nagesh on students’ protest

Mangalore Today News Network

Udupi, Jan 21, 2022: Karnataka Education Minister B C Nagesh has dubbed the protest of six Muslim women against their institution’s “no hijab” rule as a “political" move and called the norm of wearing a piece of cloth to cover the head as “indiscipline”. The Government Girls Pre University College in Udupi of Karnataka has denied permission to six women to classrooms for wearing hijab on the premises.



Reacting to the controversy, Nagesh said, “There are over a hundred Muslim children studying in the institution who have no problems. Only these few students are choosing to protest. Schools and colleges should not turn into religious centres. Wearing hijab in the classroom would amount to indiscipline as other students may expect similar concessions.”

Meanwhile, the students have decided to continue their protest until they are allowed to attend classes wearing hijab.

Eight students of the college have been protesting for months in the college campus for being denied entry into the classrooms for wearing hijab along with the uniform. Five of them are studying in II PUC and three students are studying I PUC.

The students are turning down the demands of shunning hijab and are firm on their stand that until the government gives them permission to wear hijab and attend classes, they will sit outside the classrooms and continue to protest. They maintain that it is their religious freedom and constitutional right to wear hijab.

The education minister stated that the decision had been taken by the School Development and Management Committee in 1985 with regards to uniforms in the campus. “So far, all children are following the rule. Whichever institution it is, if they make a rule, the students who want to study must be obliging. All these days the uniform rule was followed and why did they suddenly change?" he asked.

“Where has religious freedom all these days gone? It is political. What if others start wearing dresses according to their wishes? Do we have to allow them, the students will come in half dresses, do we have to allow them?" Nagesh questioned.

“If good things are implemented with a good thought we will support, if they are doing the opposite how can it be supported? They weren’t aware of their religious freedom as well as constitutional rights all these days? All of this has been started just one year before the elections, We will take a decision at the level of government regarding the issue," he said.

“Do you want schools to be religious centres? There are more than 100 children belonging to Islam religion studying without any problem. Only a few of them have problems with wearing uniforms. School is not a place to preach the religion," he maintained.

‘Students Facing Mental Torture’

Masood Manna, State Committee Member of Campus Front of India maintained that they are waiting for the government order. “It is a violation of the right of education and the right to practice religion. The students are not just fighting for themselves, but they are also fighting for coming generations to wear hijab while attending classes," he said.

“If there is no solution given we will stage a protest. The students are facing mental torture. They are asked to go out by themselves or else they will be pushed out of classes if they attend classes wearing hijabs," he said.

“Assistant Commissioner, Minority department officials and the Principal of the college have held a meeting on Wednesday in this regard. They have asked the students to come without hijabs. The protest will be staged under the banner of All Students Union in Udupi," he explained.

Institute’s Position on Row

The Government Degree College in Balagadi had reportedly given in to the demand of the students with saffron scarves initially and asked women not to attend classes wearing hijab.

Ananth Murthy, principal of the college, had told PTI that three years ago a decision was taken in a similar meeting and that was abided by everyone till now. “Everything was going smoothly but yesterday some students suddenly appeared in the class wearing scarves. They were objecting to the dress code of some students," he said two weeks ago.

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