Karnataka: Communal tension on rise amid hijab, Malali mosque rows

Communal tension in coastal Karnataka region comprising Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Udupi is on a rise with the resurfacing of hijab controversy and the Malali temple-mosque row.

The coastal region of the state is considered to be communally sensitive and bastion of BJP. The region is prone to communal tensions and clashes. The hijab crisis which snowballed into an international issue started from here.

When things seemed to have settled down, the communal strife raised its ugly head again in the region with the Hindu students launching a protest against wearing of hijab in classrooms as classes in schools and colleges resumed after summer holidays.

MS Education Academy

The ruling BJP government has stressed that only uniforms are allowed in the campus. Following the protest in University College of Mangaluru, BJP MLA Vedavyasa Kamat is holding a meeting with College Development and Management Committee members and students. Mangaluru University Vice-Chancellor and Registrar are also participating in the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has stated that they will not let Hindu activists carry one handful of soil from Malali Masjid stirring a controversy. “Don’t dream about taking over masjid,” stated Abdul Mazeed Mysuru, the state president of SDPI on Saturday.

Addressing a rally at Mangaluru, Mazeed challenged Hindu activists and Sangh Parivar members to take traditional way of “Tambula Prashne” to ascertain on destroying of 200 years old Suggalamma temple in Ballary by mining baron and BJP leader Janardhana Reddy.

“RSS games make JD (S) and Congress parties fearful. Sangh activists who give boycott calls of businessmen, aren’t you ashamed when Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had inked MoU with Yousuf Ali for Rs 2,000 crore?” questioned Abdul Mazeed.

M.A. Yusuf Ali is a UAE-based Indian businessman and billionaire. He is the chairman and managing director of LuLu Group International that owns the LuLu Hypermarket chain worldwide.

“The ruling BJP in the country is not “pro-people”. It is pro-industrialists Ambani and Adani. The BJP is destroying the country academically, socially and economically instead of empowering it,” he charged.

However, the authorities are maintaining the status quo on the Malali Masjid premises. The temple structure surfaced at the time of renovation recently. Following the development, the court had issued the status quo order. Hindu activists are claiming that they will take the legal way to reclaim this temple.

With the state already entering the election year, the issues are threatening to snowball into a major crisis situation in the entire region, say sources.

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