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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Watch: Indian college bans entry of female students wearing hijab

Female Muslim students in India were expressly told that they could enter the college premises only if they removed their headscarves. The students objected to the move and pleaded to the principal to allow entry since they have their exams in 2 months.

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Another Indian college stops female Muslim students from entering the premises due to them wearing hijabs. The incident involving 25 students took place at the Kundapur government pre-university college in the Udupi district.

Videos of the incident surfaced on social media. The college principal and other officials stopped the students at the gate. The Muslim girls kept on pleading to the principal to allow them to enter. However, the officials denied and closed the gate.

They were expressly told that they could enter the premises only if they removed the headscarf. The students objected to the move and questioned why the college suddenly enforced the rule.

Read more: Hindu Rashtra and its impact on India

Earlier, the situation on the campus turned tense when 100 Hindu boys came to classes wearing saffron shawls to protest against the girls’ wearing hijabs inside classrooms. As a result, the college barred female students wearing hijab from entering.

Important to note, the Indian government is on a crackdown, banning any religious symbolism in educational institutes. According to Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra, religion should be kept away from education. This includes both the hijab and the saffron shawls. Jnanendra said no one should come to school for practicing their religion.

“Naquab, burqa, hijab, saffron or green shawls are not allowed in the classrooms. The minister for education already stated that uniforms are compulsory for students. There should not be any divisive factors in the academic environment. There are mosques, churches, and temples for religious practices,” the Home Minister explained.

Hijab vs. Saffron shawls

The hijab controversy initially began with Government Udupi Pre-University College sending six students out of classes for wearing veils along with uniforms a month ago. The students maintained that it is their constitutional and religious right to wear the hijab. However, the college refused. Many educational institutes in the area also replicated the move, creating a communal divide between student communities.

Muslim students asserted that they will not shun hijab no matter what. They also moved to the High Court seeking directions to the government to allow them to wear hijab to classrooms. As a result, Hindu students retaliated by wearing saffron shawls to schools and protesting against the hijab.

The hijab controversy has India divided. Many agree with home minister Jnanendra. On the other hand, many also came in support of the Muslim girls saying that colleges are violating the constitutional rights of the girls.

Read more: BJP revives Hindu-Muslim dispute to win elections

Important to note, Muslims already face a tough time in India. The Indian government imposes many restrictions on the Muslim population, for example banning Friday prayers in open spaces. Additionally, Hindu extremists also subject Muslims to physical violence.