Students wear saffron shawls to oppose hijab on college campus

Students of the government degree college at Peruvaje, near Bellare, in Sullia taluk wearing saffron shawls. — Photo: special arrangement  

Days after a pharmacy college here allowed Muslim girls to wear headscarf (hijab) following a protest, some students of a government degree college in Bellare have started wearing saffron shawls to classes demanding ban on hijabs on the college campus.

It all started when seven undergraduate students of the college at Peruvaje, near Bellare, in Sullia taluk, came to the college wearing saffron shawl over their college uniform on Monday. According to a student, college principal Chandrashekar Kantamangala called and questioned them. The students reportedly told the principal that this was a “protest” against a college lecturer and some Muslim girls wearing hijab.

Against the principal’s advice, the students continued to attend classes sporting saffron shawls and others joined in. Photographs of the students were circulated on social media platforms with a message that students will “continue to sport saffron shawl till hijab was banned on the campus.”

Mr. Kantamangala said the protest by a section of students had surprised him. “This college has been functioning for over two decades. I don’t know why this issue cropped up in the college where a majority of students are from poor financial background.” He said there are a few students and a lecturer, who come to college wearing a headscarf. He and his staff members tried convincing them, but they went ahead with the protest.

Mr. Kantamangala said the issue will be discussed during the parent-teacher meeting on September 3. It will also be raised in the meeting of the college development committee, headed by S. Angara, Sullia MLA, shortly.

A former principal of the college said the college had been facing problems from Hindutva organisations, which are “interfering in the affairs of the college.”

Joint Director of Collegeiate Education, Mangaluru region, Akthar Hussain Farooqi, said he was unaware of the development. “I was only told of some disturbance and that it had been reported to the Higher Education Minister,” he said.

On August 27, Campus Front of India activists and some students of Srinivasa College of Pharmacy staged a protest asking the college administration to allow first year B.Pharm students to wear hijab inside classrooms. The college administration relented to the demand.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 4:58:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Students-wear-saffron-shawls-to-oppose-hijab-on-college-campus/article14616205.ece

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