Saturday, March 2, 2024

Udupi hijab ban: “A made-up saffron protest,” alleges MGM student

In Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, Udupi, south of Karnataka, several Hindu boys on Tuesday rallied with ready-made saffron turbans distributed by Hindutva groups to “protest” against the hijab. The classes were dismissed following the storming on Hindutva groups.

They are among Hindutva backed saffron-clad, campaigning against hijab in the district.

Until Monday, the private college on Udupi-Manipal highway had no ban on hijab.

However, on Monday, the college principal has asked students to remove all kinds of religious clothes inside the campus. Muslim girls with headscarves were picked from class and some were denied entry at the gate.

Hindu boys with saffron had jumped the walls and celebrated the expulsion of their classmates. A few girls also joined the Hindutva bloc wearing saffron turbans and shawls.

When asked about the turban, a boy said, “Do you ask girls from where they get the hijab? Then why ask us from where we got these turbans.”

In a video shared by ANI, a large mob of Saffron-clad students could be seen heckling the hijabi girls, near a gate. College authorities intervened to defuse the situation.

“We are scared as well as happy. Happy since inside classrooms everyone will be equal wearing the same uniforms. At the same time we are worried about our classes,” says Sanchana, a Hindu student.

Some of the boys who chose to stay away from the saffron show said the protest was made up.

“We saw outsiders distributing saffron turbans to college students while we entered. They offered me too, but I declined,” a student said.

Another student pointed out that boys going to Sabarimala used to wear “a black dress” and none had a problem with us. Muslim girls had been wearing Hijab since the beginning of this college no one stopped them also.

While Karnataka High Court’s hearing on the issue had been further continued to tomorrow, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has ordered to shut down of all high schools and colleges for the next three days.


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