Celebrities like Richa Chadha, Swara Bhasker, Kamal Haasan, Onir, Munawar Faruqui, and Neeraj Ghaywan took to social media to share their views about the Karnataka hijab row. In several places in Karnataka, Hindu students donned saffron scarves to ‘protest’ Muslim female students wearing hijabs.
Filmmaker Neeraj Ghaywan wrote, “Genocide is at the doorstep. It’s not just on Muslims (and Dalits) to fend for themselves. Progressive well-meaning Hindus will have to call out the hate within, demand accountability & force action! Your silent disassociation is meaningless.”
He shared a video of a college student being heckled by ‘saffron-shawl’ protestors for wearing a hijab. The video went viral on social media.
Reacting to a separate post of the same video, Richa Chadha tweeted, “Raise your sons better! A bunch of ugly, cowards attacking a lone woman in a pack and feeling proud of it ? WHAT LOSERS! Shameful. They'll be jobless, more frustrated and penniless in a few years. What poor upbringing! No sympathy, no redemption for them.”
Comedian Munawar Faruqui also reacted to the video and said, “This is disgusting…”
Kamal Haasan tweeted that the situation in Karnataka is ‘causing him distress’. He wrote in Tamil, "What’s happening in Karnataka is causing me distress. A poisonous wall of communalism is being raised among innocent students. What’s happening in our neighbouring state should not come to Tamil Nadu. It is time for all progressive forces to be more vigilant than before.”
Sharing a news clipping about students wearing a hijab being seated in separate classrooms in a college in Kundapura, Swara Bhasker wrote, “Apartheid/ segregation waali feeling aayi.” She also reacted to the aforementioned video with, “Shameful state of affairs.”
“Divided We Fall .. That is what these RSS goons wants . Weaken us from within … this won’t be easy to heal . Wake up people .. STOP THIS VIRUS NOW,” filmmaker Onir tweeted.
Amid the protests, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday, 8 February, ordered the closure of all high schools and colleges for the three days.