With the hijab controversy in Karnataka showing no signs of abating, different parts of the country have erupted in protest, both against the use of the hijab by Muslim girls in educational institutions, as well as in support of the Muslim girls who are not being allowed to attend college while wearing it.
The past few days have witnessed a slew of anti-hijab protests, but they have been limited to certain parts of Karnataka.
Protests to support the right of Muslim girls to wear the hijab have also taken place in other states of the country.
From MP to Kashmir: Solidarity With Muslim Girls Takes Over
In a private college in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal, girls protested by wearing the hijab and playing football and cricket.
In Shaheen Bagh, Delhi, a place known for being the focal point of the pan-India anti-CAA-NRC protests, women led a march in support of the girls wearing the hijab.
In Kashmir on Wednesday, 9 February, the National Conference (NC) Members of Parliament – Farooq Abdullah, Hasnain Masoodi, and Muhammad Akbar Lone – staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha to express their opposition to the Karnataka government's mishandling of the Hijab row, Greater Kashmir reported.
In Hyderabad, students also organised protests in Anwarul Uloom College in Mallepally and the Government Nizamia Tibbi College.
They held a banner that read, "Hijab is the Constitutional Rights of Muslim Women. Hijab is our right and no one shall snatch it from us. We Support Hijab", according to The News Minute.
Meanwhile, in Mumbai, Muslim women held placards while being clad in the hijab to show solidarity with female Muslim students.
Protests also erupted in support of the Muslim girls in Malerkotla, Punjab and in Kohinoor Chowk, Pune, in the state of Maharashtra.
Students and Faculty of Prominent Colleges Extend Support to Protesting Muslim Girls
Students and faculty belonging to multiple prominent universities from across the country have extended their support to the protesting Muslim girls.
Maulana Azad National Urdu University
Students from the Maulana Azad National Urdu University expressed solidarity with the Muslim girls in Karnataka.
"It is nothing but a political gimmick to divert attention during elections. We salute girls of Karnataka who are struggling for justice. Our sisters proved in Karnataka that India will not follow Godse and Savarkar," said the students protesting on the campus of MANUU, as quoted in the Times of India.
"We will follow Mahatma Gandhi, Dr BR Ambedkar and Maulana Azad," they added.
Five faculty members of IIM-Bangalore have written to the National Commission for Women, appealing it to take "suo moto cognizance of reports of intimidation of Muslim women students based on religious attire".
Stating that it is wrong "to single out one religious practice", and that the "atmosphere of fear and intimidation will make parents hesitate to send daughters to schools and colleges", the letter asks the NCW to act urgently upon the goals mentioned in their mission statement.
It reminded the NCW of one of its goals, which is "to strive towards enabling women to achieve equality and equal participation in all spheres of life by securing her due rights and entitlements".
Azim Premji University
Students of Azim Premji University also released a statement condemning the events unfolding in Karnataka.
Warning that "such incidents have the potential of creating institutionalised discrimination...that denies a citizen their basic rights based on identities; education being one of them", the statement of solidarity demanded from Chief Minister Bommai to "take strict action against the harassment of students by mobs".
Extending solidarity to the students "who took a stand against these unfortunate events", the statement asserted that "no institution should impose its belief on what one should wear, eat or say".
Meanwhile, as of 9 February, students wearing saffron shawls have protested against hijab-use in at least 12 of Karnataka's districts, according to The News Minute.
Some of these districts include Chikmagalur, Mandya, Kalaburagi, Bagalkot, Belagavi, and Vijayapura.
Organised by the Shri Ram Sene Students in the Government PU College in Afzalpur protested against seven Muslim students wearing a hijab.
The Hindu Jagarana Vedike (HJV) led similar protests in GRB Degree College in Vijayapura, The News Minute added.
The Karnataka High Court on Thursday, 10 February, passed an interim order prohibiting students from wearing any religious attire in educational institutions while they consider the legal issues involved.
(With inputs from TOI, TNM, and Greater Kashmir)