Days after students of a state-run degree college in Karnataka’s Chikkamagaluru district wore saffron-coloured scarves as a way of protesting against Muslim women wearing hijab in classrooms, the college decided on Wednesday, 12 January, to ban both hijabs and saffron scarves on the campus.
The decision was taken in a parent-teacher meeting.
Principal Ananth Murthy was quoted as saying by The Indian Express, "Officials were part of the meeting, and it was decided that Hindu students will not sport saffron scarves and Muslim girl students will not wear hijabs, but they can wear a shawl to cover their heads. If anyone violates the rule, they would be dismissed from the college."
The degree college has around 850 students.
On 4 January, around 50 students wore saffron-coloured scarves to protest against Muslim women wearing hijabs in classrooms.
As per the visuals, the students were seen sitting at an entrance gate of the institution, raising slogans against the dress code.
Meanwhile, Campus Front of India (Karnataka) state secretary Syed Sarfaraz Gangavathi said, according to The Indian Express, "The Constitution allows the wearing of hijab or saffron shawls, but it should not be instigated by anyone or politically motivated."
Further, former National Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) Harsha Narayan was quoted as saying, "We are ready to join any organisation (including Campus Front of India) to keep away religious practices from schools and colleges."
The tensions over the dress code began when the principal of a government PU college in Udupi district stopped Muslim girls last month from entering the campus as they were wearing hijabs.
However, the eight girls were finally allowed to enter and attend classes after they approached the deputy commissioner of Udupi, Kurma Rao, stating that their constitutional rights were being violated.
Meanwhile, in response to the situation in Udupi, a group of ABVP members from Pompei College in Mangaluru also wore saffron scarves inside the college premises on 6 January to protest against Muslim girl students who wear the hijab inside the college.
The situation was resolved after a meeting was held between Hindu and Muslim leaders, and it was decided that the college uniform will be followed.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)