Speaking about the hijab controversy, UT Khader, senior leader of the Karnataka Congress and MLA of Mangaluru, advised the protesting female Muslim students of Mangalore University College to take the legal route, instead of protesting. He also asked them to visit Islamic countries to understand and acknowledge the culture of Indian democracy.
Lashing out at the pro-hijab protesters, the Congress leader asked them to visit Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or any other foreign country in order to understand India’s beauty and culture, in contrast. He also advised them to not take the liberty one enjoys as per the Indian constitution for granted.
‘Let Them Visit Pakistan or Saudi Arabia Once’
"Why should one create trouble in the society? Thousands of students are attending classes there, and lakhs of students are studying across of the country. If they are interested, then 10 of those students must approach the court. We should abide by the law of the land. One cannot go to court once, and then act upon your convenience. Let them go to foreign countries once. They'll never learn till then. They speak in our country. Let them visit Pakistan or Saudi Arabia once. Only then will they understand about our traditions and culture."UT Khader, Mangalore MLA and Congress Leader
Taking a jibe at Muslim students protesting for their right to wear hijab in Mangalore University College, and Government First Grade College, Uppinangady, MLA UT Khader, asked the students to give importance to education instead.
However, acknowledging their concern at the press conference in Mangaluru, the Congress leader advised the protesting girls to take the legal route if they wanted to challenge the rule. "There can't be a separate rule for 10 students, when lakhs of students are studying in the state. The 10 of you can approach the court if you want," he added.
‘Misinterpretation of Law Leads to More Controversy’
Accordingly to the order dated 15 March, 2022, hijab was considered a non-essential religious practice in Islam.
Recently, six students from Pre-University College in Uppinangady and thirteen students from Mangalore University College were not allowed to attend classes wearing hijab.
Lawmaker UT Khader and several other legal experts have also claimed that there has been a misinterpretation of the High Court verdict on the hijab matter. Speaking to reporters UT Khader said, "All I want to ask is this. The court verdict said that where there is a rule of uniform, students will have to abide by it. Universities which do not have uniforms will continue to exist as is."
Today, there is misinterpretation of the law. So, it is the duty of the district authorities to clarify on this matter. If there is violation of constitutional values while implementing these rules, then it must challenged legally. But, primarily, education is of utmost importance.UT Khader, Mangalore MLA and Congress Leader
As per the earlier Mangalore University prospectus and calendar, students could wear headscarf. However, due to some decisions taken by the university’s syndicate in the middle of the academic year, the rule has been changed, irking the students who want to wear hijab.
After being denied entry inside by principal Anasuya Rai, the students approached the District Commissioner's office and had complained about not being allowed to attend classes while wearing hijab.
Meanwhile, the principal of Mangalore University College in Hampankatta issued a show-cause notice to three students who had conducted a press conference condemning the authorities and the syndicate's decision to ban hijab in the middle of the academic year.