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Hijab Controversy Resurfaces in Karnataka: Hindu Students Protest Muslim Classmate’s Attire in College

The tensions over hijab-wearing in educational institutions have flared up once again, this time at Vidya Soudha College in Hassan district of Karnataka. A Muslim student wearing a hijab sparked a protest among her Hindu classmates who donned saffron shawls in response.

According to the principal of Vidya Soudha College, the incident occurred on March 6. He said, “It wasn’t a hijab but some cloth that resembled hijab. The student who wore it said she had an ear problem and hence covered her ear. We held a meeting with the student and parents, and they have agreed they will not repeat it.”

The matter is currently under investigation, as stated by Hassan’s block education officer.

The controversy over hijab wearing dates back to the previous BJP government’s ban on wearing hijab in classrooms. This led to many Muslim female students dropping out of college.

However, hopes have risen among students with the Congress government now in power, as Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had announced intentions to revoke the ban.

Addressing the issue, Siddaramaiah stated, “We will withdraw the hijab ban. Women can wear hijab and go.” However, no official orders have been passed yet, and Siddaramaiah later clarified that discussions were ongoing.

The hijab row in Karnataka began in December 2022 under the BJP rule when several pre-university female students were barred from classrooms for wearing hijab. The issue escalated across the state, leading to protests and school closures.

The Karnataka High Court later upheld the state government’s decision, stating that hijab is not necessary and students should adhere to institutional rules.

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