With the hijab issue resurfacing in Mangaluru, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday asserted that every one should abide by the High Court and the government’s orders. Stating that the issue has been closed after the syndicate meeting at Mangalore University, he asked students to focus on education instead of getting into such issues.
“There is no need to create hijab controversy (again), the court has given its order, all have to abide by the court and the government’s order. Majority of them, about 99.99 per cent of them, are following it. The syndicate’s resolution is also that court order has to be followed…according to me, studies should be important for students," Bommai said. Speaking to reporters here, he said, “The matter has been closed after a meeting yesterday. There was a university syndicate meeting." Mangalore University Vice Chancellor Prof. P Subrahmanya Yadapadithaya had said on Friday that the college will facilitate admission of Muslim girl students in other institutions if they insist on wearing hijab inside classrooms.
The Vice-Chancellor had said that students wearing hijab will be counselled and an attempt will be made to convince them regarding the need for attending the classes without the headscarf. The hijab issue had once again come to the fore on Thursday as a group of students from the University College in Mangaluru staged a protest at the campus alleging that a few Muslim girl students are attending classes wearing the headscarf.
The Karnataka High Court on March 15 dismissed petitions filed by a group of Muslim students, seeking permission to wear hijab inside classrooms. The three-judge bench of the court consisting of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice J M Khazi further noted that the prescription of school uniform is only a reasonable restriction, constitutionally permissible, which the students cannot object to.
Following the High Court order, the Department of Pre-University Education has made uniforms prescribed by the College Development Committee, compulsory for Pre-University (PU) students from the 2022-23 academic year. It also states that in case no uniform is prescribed by the College Development Committee or management, students must wear a garment which will “maintain equality and unity, and which does not disturb public order".
To a question on demands for the sacking of textbook revision committee chairperson Rohith Chakratirtha accusing him of “saffronising" school textbooks, by including a lesson regarding RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar’s speech and making other changes, Bommai said he would discuss this with Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh on the developments. “He (Nagesh) is aware of all the developments, I will speak to him and make a decision," he added.