Saturday, December 9, 2023

“Hit to my self-respect,” Karnataka lecturer resigns after asked to remove hijab

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Muslim women in Kolkata protest in solidarity with Karnataka’s Muslim girls’ agitation against hijab ban.

An English lecturer at a private college in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district resigned after she was asked to remove her hijab by the college administration.

“This new decision is a hit to my self-respect,” lecturer Chandini Naz said.

In her resignation letter dated February 16, Naz said that the administration of the Jain PU College had asked her to remove her hijab, which she said she had been wearing for the past three years.

“The principal told me that I can’t wear hijab or any religious symbol while teaching… But I have taught for the last three years wearing hijab. This new decision is a hit to my self-respect. That’s why I have decided to resign,” she wrote in resignation letter.

Naz said that the right to religion is a constitutional right that nobody can deny.

“I condemn your [administration’s] undemocratic act,” she wrote.

“After the Karnataka High Court’s interim order, we asked her to remove the hijab in the staff room and go to class but she didn’t want to do that and hence resigned,” college Principal KT Manjunath said to The Print.

He further said that the administration was concerned that if Naaz was allowed to teach wearing hijab then “Muslim students may follow suit.”

Muslim students in Karnataka have been protesting the ban on hijab in educational institutions, saying the Islamophobic move of Karnataka government violates their religious freedom guaranteed under India’s constitution.

On February 10, a three-judge bench of the High Court barred the students in Karnataka from wearing “religious clothes” in schools and colleges until further orders.

Muslim students, activists and Opposition leaders across country allege that these attacks on Muslim symbols and practices are part of the larger Hindutva agenda of imposing majoritarian values on country’s 200 million Muslims.

Maktoob was the first media which reported the hijab ban in Karnataka. On the first day of this year, 1 January 2022, Muslim girls in Upupi government college spoke to our journalist and shared their concerns.

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