Published: 25th February 2022
Order banned only hijabs and saffron shawls: Bengaluru college allows Sikh turban on campus
The college also contacted the girl’s father who responded with an email explaining the importance and sacredness of the turban as the girl is an Amritdhari (baptised) Sikh
With the ongoing hijab controversy, Muslim students at a PU college in Bengaluru questioned the decision to allow turbans in classes, but not hijabs. To avoid any issues, the college held discussions with students to intimate them on the details of the Karnataka High Court interim order.
Girls at Mount Carmel PU College had been regularly coming to college with their hijabs and removing them before entering classrooms. “There were no issues with the interim order, there are around 300 Muslim students in college and we have a separate room for them to change. However, the question of why turbans are not ordered to be removed, was raised by a few girls,” said Babitha Saldanha, college principal.
According to Saldanha, the issue was raised repeatedly after the college opened on February 14, and again on Tuesday when Deputy Director of Pre-University Education (DDPUE), Bengaluru North, G K Sriram, visited the college for a routine check.
The college asked the Sikh girl about the viability of removing her turban to attend classes, according to Saldanha. After she stated that the turban was sacred and she had been baptised according to Sikh customs, the college did not push for its removal. The college as well as DDPUE highlighted that the interim order specified only hijabs and saffron shawls.
“It is a non-issue, and we told the girls the order specified only hijabs and saffron shawls,” the DDPUE told TNIE. The college also contacted the girl’s father who responded with an email explaining the importance and sacredness of the turban as the girl is an Amritdhari (baptised) Sikh. Saldanha said the Sikh girl was not prevented from entering class and allegations that the college had demanded the removal of turban were unfounded, and all interactions were cordial, open discussions.