Mangaluru: In a bizzare protest to exert pressure on the Principal to impose ban on Muslim girl’s Hijab – traditional veil inside college, about 50 boys have started coming to college with saffron shawl.
Interestingly, the Dr K Shivaram Karanth Government First Grade College and Post Graduation Centre has about 492 students of which only 15 are Muslim girls and 4 Muslim boys.
When the Principal called and questioned the protest, the anti-hijab agitators of the college, who apparently vow loyalty to hard-line Hindutva groups said that this was a “protest” against a college lecturer and some Muslim girls wearing hijab.
They are also motivating all Hindu male students to wear saffron shawls but most of the them is not willing to join the saffron agitation. “Their demand was to stop the Muslim girls wearing scarf,” sources in the college said.
The college principal Chandrashekar Kantamangala in its report to Deccan Chronicle said,“Some girls are wearing the black shawl of the uniform on their head and few of them wear it like hijab. However they are wearing only the black uniform shawl (part of the uniform).”
However, the development has set off a debate on social media. Photos of saffron clad students are going viral on WhatsApp and Facebook. Some lend their support to Hindutva groups agitators, while others have criticized them.
“Hijab is a religious obligation to Muslims. Muslim girls hesitate to show any part of their body except hands and face. Demanding ban on hijab is an act of intolerance,” commented one Sindhu on Facebook.
“Interestingly, only a few male students with poor academic record, are raising voice against those girls who cover their body fully. Their attitude clearly shows that they lack manners and common sense,” said Firdous, a farmer student of the same college on WhatsApp group.
“Their intention is to insult Muslim girls. But, they are insulting Sita Mata and mother Mary too because, they also used to cover their body fully unlike western women,” said another girl adding that some of the ABVP activists keep taunting Muslim girls in college for wearing hijab.