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Hijab Row: Students Don Blue Shawls, Chant Jai Bhim in Support of Muslim Women

Slogans of Jai Bhim by those donning blue shawls were cut with Jai Ram slogans raised by saffron-donned students.

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India
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Nearly 30 students of Karnataka’s IDSG Government First Grade College in Chikkamagaluru arrived donning blue shawls and raised slogans in support of Muslim women on Wednesday, 7 February.

The students, said to be with Bahujan Vidyarthi Sangh, said that they are in support of women wearing hijabs in class, as religious freedom is their right, The Hindu reported.

At the same time, a group of 30 people wearing saffron shawls also showed up in front of the college and protested against the students wearing a hijab.

A few Muslim girls were wearing hijab on Wednesday.

Tensions escalated as slogans of Jai Bhim by those donning blue shawls were cut with Jai Shri Ram slogans raised by saffron-donned students.

The teaching staff intervened and asked them to remain calm. The college declared a holiday that day to disperse the crowd.

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Support for the ‘blue shawls’ also poured from social media. Tweeting a video of the demonstration, Kawalpreet Kaur, National vice president of the All India Students’ Association, said the protests were a sign of true solidarity.

The protest spurred by the Government Pre-University College in Udupi's stand on hijabs in class, and resistance shown by Muslim women, reached Vijaypura district on Monday, with more than 20 students of Shanteshwara Pre-University College wearing saffron shawls and attempting to attend class.

Expecting the chaos that would ensue, the college administration immediately declared a holiday.

Background

In January, students of the state-run degree college in Chikkamagaluru district wore saffron-coloured scarves as a way of protesting against Muslim women wearing hijab in classrooms.

Days later, the college decided on 12 January to ban both hijabs and saffron scarves on the campus. The decision was taken in a parent-teacher meeting.

The row over hijab began last month when the principal of a government PU college in Udupi district stopped Muslim girls in December 2021 from entering the campus as they were wearing hijabs.

(With inputs from The Hindu.)

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Topics:  Students   Jai Bhim   Udupi College 

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