New Delhi, January 18 (KMS): There has been outrage over ban on Hijab in a government college in Udupi, in the Indian state of Karnataka after visuals of a group of woman students in hijab sitting at the doorsteps of the college emerged on the internet. The students were forced to sit outside classroom after the principal of the college refused their entry.
Activists called the decision of the college Islamophobic and demanded that the policy be rescinded and the students allowed wearing Hijab and practicing their faith freely. They lauded the girls for resisting what they called as the Islamophobic policy of the college.
Afreen Fatima, who is associated with Fraternity Movement, appreciated the “immense courage” displayed by the students going “through harassment and humiliation everyday” yet standing their ground and fighting against the injustice of the college management. “Absolute solidarity, love and Duas to these brave girls. May Allah keep them in His protection away from all harm and bring them ease,” she wrote in Twitter account.
The activists also deplored the silence of civil society and feminist groups on the issue.
“Way more people would’ve stood by these girls had they been trying to take off their hijab. They’d have fiercely backed their freedom of choice. Mainstream media would’ve held primetime shows on Islam. Only because they want to wear hijab, we see this radio silence from them,” said Zoya Rasul.
The girl students continue to maintain defiance against the coercive tactics of the college administration allegedly forcing the girls to write an apology letter on Friday.
The girls said they are striving for their rights and nothing can stop them.
The issue is raging for three weeks now as the college administration refused to allow the girls in the classes in Hijab. Muslim student bodies, Campus Front of India and Girls Islamic Organisation held a meeting with the college and district administration to resolve the impasse, but nothing came of it as yet.
When social media users asked the minority department of the Karnataka government for intervention, it shrugged off its responsibility towards the Muslim girls saying, “Our department is tasked with the implementation of schemes of the government. We can’t interfere on the issues of education department.”
Meanwhile, the college contended that it will follow the directions from the Education Ministry on the issue.