Karnataka MLA dares government to ban her from assembly for wearing hijabtext_fields
Kalaburagi: Karnataka Congress MLA Kaneez Fatima led a protest in front of the District Collector's office against the Karnataka government's decision to prohibit religious clothing, including the Muslim hijab, from schools and colleges. She also dared the government to prevent her from entering the Assembly as she too wore a hijab, ANI reported.
"Girls are being oppressed... their entry is being denied in schools 2 months prior to exams, so people of all castes & religion have gathered in DC office, Kalaburagi," she said. Muslim women were willing to change the colour of the hijab to match the school or college uniform but not to take it off entirely, she emphasised.
"Till now, everyone was wearing it. It's too late now. Why are they suddenly stopping us? Burkha is nothing new...a memorandum will go to the chief minister (Basavaraj Bommai) and we will protest in Udupi later," she added.
Earlier in the day, the state education department issued an order stating all schools under it should follow the uniform as stipulated by the state government, while students of private institutions would have to adhere to the dress code decided by the management of the school. Clothes which disturb equality, integrity and public order will be banned, it said.
One of the students who was not allowed to attend classes has filed a petition in the court arguing that wearing a headscarf is a fundamental right guaranteed under Articles 14 and 25 of the Constitution of India and is essential for practising her religion. Karnataka is set for a legal test with a hearing in the high court scheduled on Tuesday against the move.
Since the row over hijabs erupted at an Udupi PU college for girls in December, another 5 colleges have also banned the wearing of a headscarf from their campuses, triggering fresh protests from Muslim students.
With more colleges reporting such incidents, former chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah spoke out, saying that wearing the hijab is a fundamental right. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor too condemned the decision, citing that India had no law banning religious symbolism from government institutions like the government did in France.