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Row over headscarves in Karnataka

The issue of wearing a headscarf in classrooms has reared its head again, this time at a college in Mangalore.

The New Indian Express |

Updated:July 14, 2012, 12:03 PM IST
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Row over headscarves in Karnataka
The issue of wearing a headscarf in classrooms has reared its head again, this time at a college in Mangalore.

Mangalore: The issue of wearing a headscarf in classrooms has reared its head again, this time at the Sri Ramakunjeshwar Degree College in Ramakunja, 65 km from Mangalore. Ramakunja is the birth place of Pejawar Mutt seer Vishwesha Threertha Swami, who funds the college. Over 70 Muslim students pursuing BCom, BBM and BEd courses in the college boycotted classes for the second successive day on Friday, demanding that students be allowed to wear headscarves.

Muslim boys and girls comprise 40 per cent of the 250 students. Trouble began when two women students doing their first year BCom submitted a memorandum to college principal Vasanth Rao seeking permission to wear headscarves in the classroom. When the principal refused, the students began the boycott.

Tension prevailed with the police being summoned to the campus on Friday. A meeting of parents convened to find a solution ended in a deadlock on Friday. Parents from the Muslim community expressed helplessness as their children were paying no heed to their advice. However they sided with their children saying the tenets of their religion should be strictly adhered to.

“I reminded parents that they had signed on the dotted line during admission, that the uniform code will be followed,” Rao told Express. The principal suspects that fundamental organisations instigated students to raise the scarf issue. “Never in the past the college, launched in 2008, had faced such problems,” Rao says and adds that students had raised the issue when exams were just 10 days away.

The management had apprised the Pejawar Mutt seer about developments. “See that the issue is amicably settled,” Rao said quoting the seer.

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