Student told to remove tilak from forehead in Karnataka collegetext_fields
Indi: A student and members of college administration were involved in a scuffle at the Government Degree College in Vijayapura, after the student was barred from entering campus unless he erased the vermilion 'tilak' from his forehead.
The student, identified as Gangadhar Badiger by a Times of India report, was eventually allowed to enter class but there was no clarity on whether he had been forced to erase the tilak after a lecturer forbade him from entering the campus citing the recent High Court judgment following the hijab row.
A video of the incident has gone viral on social media, with Badiger claiming that he should not have to remove the vermilion mark as it was a part of his culture. According news agency PTI, he was advised that the traditional 'tilak', along with hijab and saffron scarves, was causing a problem. This resulted in a heated argument between the professors and the student.
"Our personnel stationed at the gates intervened and resolved the issue amicably," said SP (Vijayapura) HD Anand Kumar, adding that it was a minor issue and no complaint was registered.
In light of the state's hijab row, the Karnataka High Court's interim decision and the state government's ruling both prohibited the wearing of hijabs and saffron scarves. The instructions did not forbid anyone from wearing vermilion.
There was dispute before the High Court, however, where the counsels representing the Muslim girls who challenged the state government's decision contended that hijab was as innocent a religious practise as vermilion on the forehead, bangles, Sikh turbans, and wearing Rudrakshas.
On Friday, a Karnataka High Court panel hearing petitions on the hijab controversy asked the state government to ensure that its interim injunction was not breached.