Seeking to end the controversy over the hijab (headscarf) in educational institutions in Karnataka that has begun to take on a political color, the state government on Saturday ordered a ban on wearing clothes that disturb the equality, integrity and public order in schools and colleges.
“Relying on 133 (2) of the Karnataka Education Act 1983, which stipulates that a uniform style of clothing shall be worn compulsorily. The administration of the private school may select a uniform of their choice,” said said the government.
He said that students must wear the attire chosen by the college development committee or the appeals committee of the pre-university college board, which fall under the department of pre-university education.
“In the event that the administrative committee does not choose a uniform, clothing that disturbs equality, integrity and public order should not be worn,” the order said.
The government order noted that KEA-1983 explained that all students must wear a common uniform so that they belong to a common family and behave in a manner that does not discriminate.
The ordinance also stated that the pre-college second or 12th standard is crucial for students in their lives.
A common curriculum has been developed for all schools and colleges in the state for the benefit of students, the order said.
“However, the education department has noticed that in some educational institutions, boys and girls have started behaving according to their religion, which undermines equality and unity,” he said. -he adds.
The order also cited decisions of the Supreme Court and various high courts in India in favor of the uniform.
Initially, the controversy was confined to Udupi and Chikkamagaluru in early January, when Muslim girls started attending classes wearing the hijab. In protest, Hindu students began attending classes wearing saffron scarves around their necks. Gradually, the problem spread to other parts of the state where Muslim girls requested permission to attend classes wearing headscarves.
The Hijab issue had snowballed into a major controversy with political parties trying to take advantage of it.
While Congress leaders supported the hijab, the BJP said it would not allow the “Talibanization” of educational institutions.
Congress Legislative Party leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah, who supported Muslim girls on their right to wear the hijab in educational institutions, accused the BJP and RSS of trying to create communal discord in the whole state in the name of hijab.
He urged Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to immediately curb this and arrest those inciting people.
Further affirming that the main agenda of the Sangh Parivar is to deny education to Muslim girls in the name of hijab, said Siddaramaiah, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about “Beti Bachao, Beti Padao”. “Isn’t he aware of this incident?”
“The Constitution gave the right to practice any religion, which means that one can wear any clothing according to one’s religion. Prohibiting students wearing the ‘hijab’ from entering school is a violation of fundamental rights,” he added.
Meanwhile, ruling BJP state chairman and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said the government will not allow hijab in educational institutions and will take strict measures to ensure things are done. are conducted according to school rules and will not let things turn into “Like the Taliban”.
“There is a BJP government in this state, there is no place for hijab or any other related incident. Schools are temples to mother Saraswathi (goddess of education); everyone should respect the rules and regulations there. Bringing religion there is not right, what the students need is education, if someone can’t follow the rules, he can choose its way elsewhere,” he said.
Kateel also hit out at Siddaramaiah accusing him of introducing divisive policies like celebrating Tipu jayanti and projects like ‘Shadi Bhagya’ among others aimed at creating a wedge between communities, when he was CM.
As the issue snowballed into major controversy and the case was before the High Court, Chief Minister Bommai held a meeting with the law and education departments on Friday, and the government demanded educational institutions to follow the existing Uniform Rules until the Court arrives. with an order for this next week.
On February 8, the Karnataka High Court will hear petitions filed by five girls studying at a government pre-university college in Udupi, challenging the restriction of hijab at university.
JD(S) leader and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, hitting both BJP and Congress for controversy, said instead of “Beti Bachao, Beti Padao”, they are trying to make it “Beti Hatao “, “they should stop this.”
He asked the government to maintain the status quo in institutions where the hijab has been allowed until now, and not to allow it in places where it started recently.
“Instead of a Hindu-Muslim problem, children being used for such things are more dangerous,” he added.
Calling the hijab line a systematic conspiracy, said Minister of Culture and Kannada V Sunil Kumar, the hijab or burka can be worn from home to college premises, but upon entering classrooms, while everyone has to wear a uniform and that’s the system.
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