Bengaluru: Schools reopen after hijab impasse

Bengaluru: Schools reopen after hijab impasse
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Bengaluru: Schools reopen after hijab impasse

Highlights

The schools in Karnataka opened on Monday after closing down last Tuesday following an issue related to banning the hijab in the classrooms.

Bengaluru: The schools in Karnataka opened on Monday after closing down last Tuesday following an issue related to banning the hijab in the classrooms. In Udupi where it all began reopening was smooth. The students wearing hijab came dressed in school uniforms topped up with hijab, but when they went into the classrooms they had removed the hijab. But in the neighbouring Shivamogga district, things went rebellious.

8 students who had come to the school in Shivamogga city wearing Hijab were asked by the teacher to remove the hijab if they were to sit in the classroom and take their preparatory exam for SSLC, but they said our religion was more important than education, we choose to not to write the examination papers (Maths and English) on Monday and left the classroom and later the premises.

One of them told that their parents have told them to take this step despite that we wanted to write the exams. Hearing this the Deputy Director of Public Instruction (DDPI) Ramesh went to the school and tried to convince the students to follow the High Court interim award and write the exams, but to him also the students gave the same reply only adding that they respect their religion more than the education and they will keep their hijab rather the education.

This incident in Shivamogga has been used by the Sangh Parivar and its analysts to refurbish their claims that the Muslim students and their parents and peers were being tutored by some unseen hands to further the cause of Islam in the educational institutions. In the incident in Mandya PES college where Muskan Khan became a 'Hijab Icon' for crying 'Allahu Akbar' in front of dozens of Saffron wearing activists, the analysts had tried to establish that Muskan and her family allegedly got support from ISIS and Afghani Taliban.

Pratap Simha, Member of Parliament from Mysuru- Kodagu had also accused Muslim political parties like the Social Democratic Party of India, Popular Front of India and their fringe groups like Campus Front of India were in league to stir up unrest in educational institutions and divide Hindus and Muslims.

In Udupi, the government composite college reopened quietly on Monday. The high school section students arrived on Monday at Women's Government PU College in Udupi, where hijab row originally erupted. The girls who wore hijab until they reached campus removed it and proceeded into the classrooms, as they had done in the past.

Police patrolled the area because section 144 of the CrPC was in effect within a 200-meter radius of the school. According to DC Kurma Rao's prohibitory orders, no gatherings of more than five people were permitted.

On Monday, high school students arrived at Government PU College in Kundapur. Because the hijab had previously been permitted in classes, pupils adopted the same practice in accordance with the court's direction to maintain the status quo. Additional SP Siddalingappa informed reporters in Kundapur that a probe is underway to determine who sparked the controversy and fueled it further to jeopardise communal harmony on college campuses. There is another storm in the teacup is brewing. Many bright students from the Hindu community were unhappy over the schools being closed when the examinations for the PU section was just around the corner. They claimed that it was unjust to close the entire college just because six students wanted to be more religious than others.

Shilpa, a PU student at the Women's Government PU College in Udupi, accompanied by her friends appealed to the college principal, Rudre Gowda to keep the college open may be what come. Let the students who want to pursue their religion take their time to understand their priorities. But we are firm about continuing our education irrespective of any adversities.

They later submitted a memorandum to this effect to the Principal copied to Raghupathi Bhat, a member of the Legislative Assembly from Udupi. Bhat later stated that all students in the high school part of the Women's Government PU College, Udupi, observed the guidelines and removed their hijab before attending their classes.

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