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Dont they too deserve gender justice?

Women who stand upto a violent male gang with grit and conviction are generally portrayed as symbols of courage by the public, authorities and the media. But curiously enough a second year degree student of Dr P Dayananda Pai-P Satisha Pai Government College, Mangaluru, named Hiba Sheikh, who displayed that attitude was not given that recognition, and instead has now been visited with cases and threats of murder and of molestation. Images of Hiba's bold resistance have been in the public domain. As part of the anti-hijab atrocities by communal Hindutva outfits in Karnataka, workers of the sangh parivar student organisation stopped this female student at the college gate. She didn't stoop to beg with folded hands or weep before those who blocked her entry into the campus without removing her hijab and shouted at her to go back home. On the contrary, she asked in loud voice whether that college was their inherited property and asserted she was studying there after paying the fees.

She approached the police with a complaint against ABVP leader Sai Sandesh who grabbed the answer papers from hijab-wearing female students who had come to appear for the internal exams with the Principal's permission and forced them to leave the exam hall. But the police filed cases against the miscreants under minor charges. But, based on the complaints lodged by Sandesh and later by ABVP worker Kavana Shetty, police booked her on charges of using threats and disturbing peace. That was followed by a series of abuse and intimidation by Hindutva IT cells and troll groups. Even as warnings were raised that they would be liquidated without dead bodies being traceable, the government does not show any interest in finding out the culprits or bringing them before law.

All this happened when the petition regarding wearing of hijab in campus is pending before the Karnataka High Court; in the meanwhile the mob courts of sangh parivar are unleashing attacks against girl students. Some other states ruled by the BJP are also scenes of similar acts springing up which is a sign that the attacks against hijab in Karnata are only a sample dose. In UP, closely after the assembly election results, Muslim women students who had been entering the campus wearing the hijab without any bar all these years, were sent back without being allowed into the college class rooms. This denial of constitutional right in the name of dress code happened in Shree Varshney College, Aligarh, which is affiliated to the university named after the architect of India's constitution.

Going by the pattern in Karnataka, it may not take long for the virus of hatred and discrimination to spread to other campuses. Armed Hindutva gangs, frenzied by Yogi's second coming, will use this as a golden opportunity to show their muscle power. But what causes anxiety as much as the onslaughts by the BJP governments and the Hindutva outfits does is the silence of the general public and cultural leaders in the matter. Even when vicious apps like Sulli Deals and Bulli Bai appeared putting a price in auction on several female Muslim students, activists and professionals, they had remained silent. We have before us the kind of police response to a complaint by a female student who was put up for auction in Sulli Deals. The fact is that the fears and anxieties about gender justice and girls being denied their education do not come up for discussion, when it comes to Muslim women of India. And this inaction by authorities and society is taken by the communal right-wing as an acceptance of their anti-constitutional denial of rights. The miscreants get disturbed and deterred only at the face of the dour determination of women students like Hiba and Muskan - who chanted takbeer (God is great) when faced with slogan-calling racists in Udupi, i.e. their resolve that regardless of whether others would stand by them or not, they would move forward with their struggle and legal battle to protect their rights.

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TAGS:Hjab wearing students courage not recognised police discrimination Hiba Sheikh & Muskan 
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