Bengaluru: With the second year pre-univesity (PU/ Intermediate) practical exams scheduled in several colleges side-by-side with the ongoing Hijab row, officials from the Karnataka education department have claimed that girls have agreed to appear for the exams without their headscarves in two colleges.
The deputy director of PU education was quoted by the Times of India as saying, “Students have been convinced to come for practical exams without hijab. In my jurisdiction, two colleges — the Government PU College in Yelahanka and Bapu PU College in Yeshwantpur — faced protests. I went to both colleges on Saturday and convinced the science students,”
The students were reportedly given hall tickets on the condition that they would appear for the exams without the hijab. The education department has ordered all education institutions to conduct all exams by March 25. As of now, PU exams are being conducted in districts including Mysuru, Mandya, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.
The Principal of Government PU College in Bengaluru, Palaksha T,also said that the students belonging to the science stream have agreed to appear for the exams without the Hijab.
What is the Hijab Row?
The hijab controversy has been raging since January after students of a pre-university college in Karnataka’s Udupi were prohibited from wearing headscarves (hijab), as part of their religious obligation, in the college premises. The issue blew up after Hindu students turned up to their colleges wearing saffron scarves in a protest against hijabi Muslims being allowed to wear headscarves.
The state was forced to form a committee to decide over the issue and prohibited the students from wearing any religious garment, including the hijab until a decision is reached. However, a number of protests by saffron-clad students and Muslims around the state forced the state to shut down schools and colleges for a few days.
Currently, the Karnataka high court that is hearing a petition filed by a Hijabi student of a PU college in Udupi, and has not provided any temporary relief to the students so far.
Educational institutions that were shut down by the state were directed to reopen ensuring that the state’s diktat, which prevents any religious garment from being worn to the institutions, is strictly adhered to.
As the high court of Karnataka provides no temporary relief to Muslim students protesting against the state’s hijab ban, protests in support of the girls have erupted all over the country, and beyond.