UDUPI: The hijab row that had caused an imbroglio at a women’s Government PU College in Udupi has spread to another Government PU College in the neighboring town of Kundapur as more than 100 boys came to college wearing saffron shawls on Wednesday. It is said that about 28 girl students used to attend classes wearing headscarves as per their religious customs. Protesting this, the boys wore saffron shawls on Wednesday.
As the issue soon snowballed into a controversy, Kundapur MLA Halady Srinivas Shetty who is the president of the college development committee arrived at the scene and tried to convince both sides not to vitiate the academic ambience in the campus.
However, the girl students and their parents who attended the meeting chaired by the MLA were firm on their decision to wear headscarves, while the boys also said they would continue to wear the saffron shawls until headscarves are banned inside the classrooms. Parents of the Muslim girls during the meeting with the MLA argued that their wards were attending the classes wearing headscarves since the beginning of the academic year. Suddenly forcing them not to wear headscarves will not be accepted, they said, claiming wearing headscarves is their fundamental right.
Campus Front of India's Karnataka state committee member Ayisha Murshida participating in a 'World Hijab Day' programme held on Tuesday alleged that the Sangh Parivar and right wing organisations have a political agenda to stop Muslim girls being educated and so they are using the 'hijab' as a weapon to deny education to Muslim girls. "Hijab upholds the honour of Muslim women and protect them. However the agenda of the right wing organisations is to stop education being given to Muslim girls," she claimed.
Dr Matpady Prabhath Kalkura, a child rights activist, felt that some forces are orchestrating the entire issue. Extremism of both sides is condemnable, he said.