Karnataka: Mangalore college cancels ABVP’s pooja permission

The move came after student groups and pro-hijab activists demanded it to be rolled back citing religious discrimination.

The University College Mangalore, Humpankatte, withdrew permission to the ABVP for organising a ‘Bharath Mata Pooja’ in its campus on Thursday. The move came after student groups and pro-hijab activists demanded it to be rolled back.

The protesting students said that no religious event can be organised as wearing the hijab was banned for Muslim students earlier. They cited the same order from the Karnataka High Court which said that wearing the hijab is not a fundamental part of Islam. Prior to this, the state on several instances witnessed hijab-wearing students being denied entry into educational institutions.

The college’s principal withdrew permission for holding the ‘Bharat Mata Pooja’ in the University College Mangalore after the outrage. After news broke that the Pooja was going to be held by the Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Muslim students protested, citing the same Karnataka court order.

MS Education Academy

They said that no religious observances can be held in educational institutions. In posters, it can be seen that the ABVP planned to organise the pooja, wherein Bharat Mata is holding a saffron flag with the concept of Akhand Bharath (united India). The Campus Front of India and other student organisations, have called it religious discrimination.

Protesting students point out college’s ‘hypocrisy’

Speaking to Siasat.com, district president of CFI Dakshina Kannada Thajuddin said, “We demanded that action be taken against the government college for giving permission to organise a religious program.” He questioned how the ABVP used showed Bharat Mata holding the saffron flag instead of the Indian flag.

Anusuya R, principal of University College Mangalore, told Siasat.com, “We have not issued any official circular regarding this Pooja nor we are supporting it. Students have organised this as they were doing this in preceding years.” The University College Mangalore head said she will halt it if she is asked to do so.

“I don’t understand what’s controversial in performing Pooja. Only college students with uniforms are allowed to do this. I will halt this if Mangalore University’s vice-chancellor asks me to,” Anusuya added.

Meanwhile, the Campus Front of India and other leaders submitted a memorandum to the district collector to stop religious discrimination in the college.

Rifaz, a final year student of University College Mangalore said, ”When hijab-wearing students were banned from college citing equality and no discrimination, why is Bharath Mata pooja allowed on the campus? A college should not be a place of discrimination based on religion, if Hijab is not allowed then no other religious practices should be performed.”

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