Three weeks after Government Women’s PU college in Karnataka’s Udupi barred the entry of six students for ‘wearing a hijab’, they are still fighting to enter their classrooms and attend their lessons. The college cited that “no religious activity will be allowed on campus”, as the reason for barring their entry.
Speaking to The Cognate, one of the six students, Aliya Assadi said that a lecturer threatened to push them out of classrooms if they entered wearing a hijab.
All six girls have been marked absent from 31 December, and have not been able to attend their classes.
‘Will College Ask Girls to Not Wear Bindi’: Activist
Zam Zam Kapthi, an activist from Campus Front Udupi, told The Quint whether the college will refrain from doing puja or asking students to not wear bindi.
“If you say no religious act, then no religious act should be done. But here they do perform puja. We don’t say anything about it. People wear bindis. That’s a religious activity, too. This is our dress code, so that’s why we asked them to let us wear the hijab,” Kapthi asked.
‘Uniform a Egalitarian Approach’: College Admin
Responding to criticism, Yashpal Suvarna, College Development Committee Vice President, told Deccan Herald that there are 150 Muslim students studying on campus, but only six of them “made an issue” out of the rule.
The college in Udupi is not the only one to ban hijab for Muslim students. Another state-run college in Chikkamagaluru banned saffron scarves, after 50 students protested the initial hijab ban by wearing saffron scarves.
‘Discrimination Based on Religion’
As the issue remains unresolved for three weeks, people on Twitter expressed solidarity with the girls who are being barred, calling it a “discrimination based on religion.”
This story first appeared on thequint.com