After Hijabs, Saffron Scarves, Blue Scarves Enter The Picture: 10 Points
The controversy over headscarves in Karnataka has intensified, with students defying the government order to use uniform clothing to maintain “unity and equality”. Ahead of tomorrow’s court hearing, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai appealed for peace.
Here’s your 10-point cheatsheet on this story:
- Ahead of the High Court hearing on the row, Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai appealed to everyone to maintain peace. “The matter is before the High Court and it will be decided there… I appeal to everyone to maintain peace… All should follow the state’s order (on uniform) until the court decides,” he said.
- Tomorrow, the Karnataka High Court will hear the petitions of five girls questioning the restriction on wearing hijab.
- The controversy started last month at the Government Girls PU college in Udupi district as six students alleged that they had been barred from classes for wearing headscarf and many Muslim girls took up the practice in protest.
- Right-wing groups in Udupi and Chikkamagaluru objected to headscarves and the protests spread across the state. In retaliation, many students turned up in saffron scarves. Dalit students adopted blue scarves in support of hijab-wearing girls.
- Today, there were reports of students in Chikkaballapura, Bagalkote, Belagavi, Hassan and Mandya coming to colleges in hijab and saffron scarves. In Belagavi and Mandya, girls held a protest rally. Two persons were arrested for allegedly brandishing knives during a protest.
- There was also a confrontation between students wearing blue scarves and those wearing safron scarfs at a college in Chikkamagaluru, IDSG College.
- Two colleges declared holiday to avoid communal trouble. Another college allowed students wearing the hijab in separate classrooms.
- Students in hijab were sent home at the Kalavara Varadaraj M Shetty Government First Grade College, Kundapur. “We had advised them to enter classes without the hijab. They refused. So we asked them to leave,” said Vice Principal Usha Devi.
- On Saturday, the state’s Education Department said, “In some education institutions, the boys and girls have started behaving according to their religion, which hurts equality and unity… clothes which disturb equality, integrity and public law and order should not be worn”.
- Education Minister BC Nagesh has said students who insist on wearing hijab (head scarves) not be allowed into government educational institutions. He also ordered that women protesters be confined to a separate room of the colleges.