Minister for Kannada, Culture and Energy V. Sunil Kumar challenged those speaking in favour of wearing hijab inside educational institutions, including former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, to fight for the entry of Muslim women into masjids (mosques).
Responding to reporters’ queries after inaugurating the district minister’s office at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Mangaluru on February 5, Mr. Kumar said the hijab issue is a conspiracy to create unrest in Karnataka. “On the one hand, they [fundamentalists] deny permission to women in every walk of social life, and on the other, try to dictate terms to educational institutions, which is not acceptable to the government,” he said.
“I ask Muslim women: who had freed them from the clutches of triple talaq. It was the Modi government, which freed them from the practice. Understand this and join the mainstream of society. If some one, may be SDPI, Siddaramaiah or Khader, tries to influence you, don’t succumb to such pressure.”
The Minister said students may wear hijab or burqa till the premises of educational institutions, but not inside classrooms. The dress code for educational institutions has been in vogue for long and the government is providing institutional framework for the same.
On development of Dakshina Kannada, Mr. Kumar said he has called the KDP meeting on February 11 where the development road map for the next one year would be discussed with elected representatives and officials. The requirements of the district and support from the State budget would be conveyed to the Chief Minister, he said.
On the pathetic condition of highways, Mr. Kumar said he has already held discussions in this regard with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. “Whether Sampaje, Shiradi, Charmadi or Agumbe ghat, they should be developed in a proper manner in coordination with the Forest Department. Similarly, highways inside the two districts too should be developed so as to encourage tourism,” he said.