Written By: Aashish Vashistha
New Delhi: On Tuesday, Incidents of stone pelting and use of force by police were reported as the hijab row in Karnataka escalated which led to the spread of protest in many colleges of Karnataka. When situation became out of control, this forced the government to declare a three-day holiday for all educational institutions. Karnataka Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai appealed to all students and people to maintain peace and calm in the state. On the contrary, Primary and Secondary Education Minister of Karnataka, BC Nagesh claimed that according to a report the Campus Front of India (CFI) is said to have incited the Hijab row, and this will be investigated. Actually, CFI is the student wing of the Islamic outfit Popular Front of India(PFI).
A court hearing on this matter is going on. On Wednesday, The Karnataka High Court will resume hearing the petition in the Hijab Row at 2:30 pm. This petition was filed by students of a Karnataka college who have allegedly said that they were not allowed to attend classes wearing a hijab. The whole issue escalated when another group of students began turning up at colleges wearing saffron scarves and shouting slogans of Jai Shri Ram (praise Lord Ram). Also they surrounded a muslim girl who was wearing Burqa, and they chanted slogans of “Jai Shree Ram”. The girl in response chanted slogans of “Allah Hu Akbar”. After this incident, a mob of Muslim community pelted stones on building of college premises which made the situation more devastating and horrible. This actually prompted the state government to close all schools and colleges for three days.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Wednesday also tweeted on the ongoing Hijab Row and said, “Whether it is a bikini, a ‘ghoonghat’, a pair of jeans or a ‘hijab’, it is a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear.” But netizens replied to her tweet and said, “this issue is related to schools and colleges, no need to mention bikini.”
Is this the fault of students wearing saffron shawls or the students wearing Hijab? We cannot deny this fact that most of our politicians are just taking advantage of this small fight between students and they are running their own hate-filled agendas. These ‘Netas’ have never raised real issues of students which include employment opportunities and their fear of job insecurity. But when they see such things happening, they have started running agendas which suits their ideology. Also our mainstream media never cared about students and their issues related to employment. But their prime time debates are always filled with hatred and agendas to divide many communities. This is the result, we are seeing this horrible, devastating picture from Karnataka.
On Wednesday, Noble Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai also tweeted on this issue and said, “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. People on twitter trolled Malala for not commenting on the exploitation of women by Taliban in Afghanistan where all rights of women were taken for granted. Well, everyone has a different outlook towards this issue but we can’t deny this fact that if ‘Ghunghat’ is patriarchal, so is ‘Burqa’ and if ‘Bindi’ is misogynist, so is ‘hijab’. Article 14 and Article 25-28 of the Indian Constitution might gives us the right to wear anything but it doesn’t gives right to wear anything in educational institutions. Politicians are making it a big issue as it suits their agendas. This is what they have done to our nation. We need to be rational and should read our constitution as nothing is bigger than the ethos of our constitution.