Hijab row: Dalit students wear blue scarves in solidarity with Muslim girls

The Karnataka high court is scheduled to hear a plea, filed by a Muslim student, over the issue on February 8 following which the government will take a call over uniforms for pre-university colleges in the state.

Several college students in Karnataka adorned blue scarves around their necks, raising slogans of “Jai Bhim” in solidarity with Muslim girls in the state who have been barred from entering their college for wearing hijab.

Muslim girls of colleges in northern Karnataka were asked to shun their hijab after a group of male students arrived at the colleges, adorning saffron scarves, in a protest against girls being allowed to wear headscarves on the college premises.

Dalit students from the IDGS government college in Chikmagalur wore blue scarves, on Monday, in solidarity with the girls who had been denied entry into the college for wearing headscarves, as a part of their religious obligation.

The tense situation escalated forcing the college management to intervene as the groups adorning blue and saffron came face to face, one raising slogans of ‘Jai Bhim’ and hailing Dr BR Ambedkar, whereas the other raised slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

The Hijab Row

Muslim girls of colleges in Karnataka were asked to shun their Hijab after a group of male students arrived at the college, adorning Saffron scarves, in a protest against Muslim girls being allowed to wear headscarves on the college premises.

Although the rule book of a college suggested that girls are allowed to wear Hijabs on the premises of the institution, the management recently prohibited the girls from covering their heads, following the diktat of the state government.

The controversy that has been raging since early January, forced the state to call for a committee to look into the matter and take a call on pre-university college uniforms across the state.

The state had directed students, of all colleges, to shun the Hijab until the report of the high-level committee formed in this regard is submitted.

The ‘saffron fever’ has now spread to a large number of districts in Karnataka, including Hassan, Chickmanglur and Belagavi. Apart from Kundapura, Hindu students of PU colleges in Udupi’s Bhandarkar and Byandoor adorned saffron in protest against girls adorning Hijab.

In other developments over the row, a Muslim student has filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court seeking a declaration that wearing a hijab (headscarf) is a Fundamental Right guaranteed under Article 14 and 25 of the Constitution of India as it is an essential practice of Islam, the hearing for which is scheduled to take place on February 8.

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