Published: 28th May 2022
K'taka Education Minister doubles down on gov't stance on hijab, textbooks, yet again
BC Nagesh was remarking on the recent controversy at Mangaluru University where students had protested against their Muslim peers wearing hijabs
Karnataka's Primary and Secondary Education Minister BC Nagesh has reiterated the state government's stance on the hijab controversy after agitation broke out in University College Mangaluru on the issue. A group of Hindu students was allegedly protesting against a few Muslim students who had demanded the right to wear hijab on campus after the university issued a notice to the students, asking them to stick to the prescribed dress code, effectively banning hijabs on campus. The students had allegedly been angered by the varsity authorities, allowing a few students to wear the hijab despite the notice.
Nagesh said that the order of the Karnataka High Court must be followed in the issue and only uniforms are allowed in schools and college campuses in Karnataka, according to a report by IANS. The High Court had concluded that the hijab was not an essential religious practice under the Islamic faith and, therefore, could not be protected under Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. It also said that allowing hijab inside the classrooms would be violative of the uniform and the dress code.
Adding to his earlier comments on the row over the syllabus in school textbooks, the Education Minister also said that the revised syllabus had "history and nationalism", according to IANS. He instead went after the opposition for "creating confusion among students".
Earlier, top Congress leaders Siddaramaiah and R Mallikarjun Kharge had severely criticised the government for the revisions made to the syllabus, where a speech by RSS founder KB Hedgewar was added and in an earlier version of the changes, a chapter on Bhagat Singh was removed, although it was reinstated in the final version.