Blamed for mishandling hijab row, Udupi college principal says he tried to resolve issue
The principal told TNIE that the girls were all along following the dress code prescribed by the college, which does not permit the hijab inside classrooms.
UDUPI: The principal of the Government Women’s PU College, Udupi, Rudre Gowda, who is under attack for allegedly mishandling the hijab row in his college, has blamed the Campus Front of India (CFI) and other organisations for ‘radicalising’ the girls who are now fighting for their ‘right’ to wear the headscarf.
The principal told TNIE that the girls were all along following the dress code prescribed by the college, which does not permit the hijab inside classrooms. “But suddenly, their behaviour changed and they appeared radicalised by some extreme-thinking organisation. We have tried our level best to contain the issue by calling their parents and discussing with them. To some extent, their parents got convinced about the dress code, but later on, CFI leaders started storming into my chamber,” he said.
‘’Except that it did not reach the stage of a physical fight, they argued with me in a loud voice. Then, I told them to approach the DDPU as it was not possible to convince them at my level. In between, senior representatives of the Udupi Jilla Muslim Okkuta also tried convince the students to not make the hijab a big issue at the cost of their education. But those girls were not willing to hear either their parents or the community elders. They were surely radicalised. Some of the students were known for indiscipline and were irregular to classes,” he alleged.
He said local MLA Raghupathi Bhat, who is also the president of the college development committee, got involved in it after the girls stood their ground and also staged a protest in front of the college displaying placards. “On January 26, he offered them the option of attending online classes, but the girls rejected it the next day and said they wanted to wear the hijab, and online classes were not their demand,” Gowda added.
On Thursday, CLP leader Siddaramaiah sought the sacking of the principal, blaming him for the whole issue. But Rudre Gowda maintained that he had done his best to resolve the issue. When TNIE contacted Udupi SP Vishnuvardhan regarding some reports which claimed that the girls were contacted by CFI and other organisations, he said the district police have no details in this regard. ‘’We are not investigating the case, so we have no information on that matter’’ he said.