3 weeks back, a piece of bizarre news came into the limelight. In the Udupi district of Karnataka, 8 girls were not allowed to enter their classes as they wore a Hijab to the classroom. This incident came to light at the Govt PU College Udupi where the girls have been spending their time at college outside the classroom. The students have reported that they have been marked absent consecutively.
The Principle of the College is of the opinion that they have violated the dress code of the college. When the parents of the students intervened, they were forced to sign an apology which they denied as the dress code as a norm is not mentioned in any of their admission forms or details.
In fact, Govt colleges do not have a dress code in Karnataka or in any other place for that matter.
Out of about 70 Muslim students, only these 8 girls wear the Hijab and hence are not allowed to enter the classes.
The Minister for Education, PC Nagesh has said “it is the discretion of the colleges but in general the idea of a dress code does not apply as such.”
The Hijab is a piece of cloth that Muslim women and girls use to cover their heads. The word Hijab comes from Arabic, meaning ‘barrier’.
Experts have pointed out that it is a fundamental right of the girls to wear the Hijab as it has been provided with Article 25 and also Article 29 and 30 of the Indian Constitution.
Making them stand out of the class is also a violation of Article 21-A which speaks about the Right to Education.
There have been counter-protests with right-wing student organizations wearing a saffron scarf around their neck but that has resulted in something more counterproductive.
We need to wait and watch as to how this will result and will these girls will be provided justice.