Monday, December 4, 2023

Opp’n walkout, Malala’s support: Hijab row gains traction at the highest levels

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Muslim students protesting against the alleged ban on their entry in a Karnataka government college for wearing Hijab has now gained traction in the highest circles of politics and activism. Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has come out in support of the protesting students. While sharing an article on the issue, she tweeted, “Refusing to let girls go to school in their hijabs is horrifying. Objectification of women persists — for wearing less or more. Indian leaders must stop the marginalisation of Muslim women.”

Opposition parties on Tuesday staged a walkout of the Lok Sabha in the ongoing Budget Session of the Parliament in protest over the Karnataka hijab row. The political parties that staged a walkout of the Lower House include Congress, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (CPI), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who was among the lot that walked out of the House in protest, demanded that government give its opinion on the issue. “We raised the issue on hijab. Wearing a hijab is not a crime in our country, which is believed to be a secular country in the world. Each and every religion has the liberty to continue their culture, their practices without being prohibited. But now, in the country, some sort of moral policing has been conducted on the sisters of our Muslim population,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said that students must adhere to the dress code.
“All students must follow the dress code prescribed by the schools/administration. Law and order must be maintained in the State. We need to see who are these people instigating the students,” Joshi said.

Karnataka High Court, during the hearing in hijab row on Tuesday, appealed to students to maintain peace and tranquillity. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai ordered the closure of schools and colleges in the state for three days.

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