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India: Hindutva ’unveiled’ as RSS mob heckles hijab-clad Muslim girl in India’s Karnataka state

Thursday 10 February 2022, by siawi3

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1674164/hindutva-unveiled-as-rss-mob-heckles-hijab-clad-muslim-girl-in-indias-karnataka-state

Hindutva ’unveiled’ as RSS mob heckles hijab-clad Muslim girl in India’s Karnataka state

APP | Dawn.com

Published February 9, 2022 - Updated 16 minutes ago

Indian student Muskan Khan shouts “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) back as she is jeered at by a Hindutva mob for wearing a hijab to college in India’s Karnataka state on Tuesday. — Twitter screengrab

A photo of Indian student Muskan Khan being jeered at by a Hindutva mob for wearing a hijab to college in India’s Karnataka state on Tuesday. — Twitter screengrab

Indian student Muskan Khan shouts “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) back as she is jeered at by a Hindutva mob for wearing a hijab to college in India’s Karnataka state on Tuesday. — Twitter screengrab

A photo of Indian student Muskan Khan being jeered at by a Hindutva mob for wearing a hijab to college in India’s Karnataka state on Tuesday. — Twitter screengrab

Indian student Muskan Khan shouts “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) back as she is jeered at by a Hindutva mob for wearing a hijab to college in India’s Karnataka state on Tuesday. — Twitter screengrab

A hijab-clad student was heckled and jeered at by a mob of Hindutva supporters in India’s Karnataka state on Tuesday while she retaliated by shouting back “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).

Muskan Khan parked her scooter in the parking of her college in Mandya and was subsequently beset by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) mob which shouted at her and tried to surround her. Undaunted, she continued walking towards her college building in footage that soon went viral on social media.

“Since I started studying [here], I’ve always worn the burqa and hijab. When I entered class, I removed the burqa … [the] principal has said nothing, outsiders started this,” she told NDTV.

’Shameful’: Indian journalists, celebs issue condemnation

The harassment of Muskan drew the ire of some Bollywood celebrities, media personalities, intellectuals and politicians, who condemned the Modi government for taking the country to that low.

“A new video from Karnataka shows a young student in a hijab being chased by ’Jai Shree Ram’ (Hail Lord Ram) slogan-shouting men. This is what bigotry does to a nation: divides us on dress, food and religion. When we should be worried about jobs for young, we focus on their dress! Shameful,” said Indian news anchor Rajdeep Sardesai.

“As always, it takes a pack of men to attempt to intimidate a woman. Such frightened, pathetic excuses for human beings. Brandishing their shawls as weapons, cloaking their weakness in cruelty. A sizeable section of a rudderless generation lost to hate,” said Indian filmmaker Pooja Bhatt.

Indian author Vaibhav Vishal lamented what the country had been turned into.

It has been a month since the students of a state-run school in Karnataka’s Udupi district started their campaign after they were barred from entering their classrooms while wearing hijab. The story cascaded across the internet, and the students began protesting outside the school gate, reading their lessons.

Instead of pacifying the situation, other schools also started enforcing a ban on the hijab, out of fears of RSS supporters who also simultaneously started shouting pro-Hindutva slogans to worsen the situation.

The state machinery seemed to be helpless before the group. Instead, some ruling party members issued statements to defend the ban on the hijab which encouraged RSS members to provoke the situation.

Having failed to control the situation, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced the closure of all schools and colleges in the state for three days as the controversy over students wearing hijab on campus intensified, with violence reported from several districts.

In some areas, Hindu girls wearing saffron shawls appeared in the colleges to protest against their hijab-wearing fellows and defend the ban.

So far, several meetings between the staff, government representatives and the protesting students have failed to resolve the issue. The state’s education minister, BC Nagesh, also refused to lift the ban.

Pakistan slams Modi govt’s planned ’ghettoisation of Muslims’

Muskan’s incident was condemned by Pakistani politicians as well. Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid, while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Wednesday, said: “One Muslim girl has exposed India’s politics and the treatment [being given] to Muslims.”

Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, meanwhile, lauded Muskan’s “courage and her conviction” in face of the “fascist Hindutva brigade”.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said depriving Muslim girls of education was a “grave violation” of fundamental human rights.

“World must realise this is part of Indian state plan of ghettoisation of Muslims,” he tweeted.

“Indian society is declining with super speed under unstable leadership,” said Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.

Nobel laureate and activist Malala Yousafzai also condemned the incident, saying: “Refusing to let girls go to school in their hijabs is horrifying.”

She called for Indian authorities to stop the marginalisation of Muslim women.

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Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1674006/schools-ordered-shut-in-southern-india-as-hijab-ban-protests-intensify

Schools ordered shut in southern India as hijab ban protests intensify

AFP

Published February 8, 2022 - Updated about 20 hours ago

Photo: Principal (L) of the college talks with the students of Pre-university college in Kundapur town who arrived wearing hijab at the college in Udupi district in India’s Karnataka state on February 7. — AFP

Authorities in southern India ordered schools to shut on Tuesday as protests intensified over a ban on hijab that has outraged Muslim students.

The stand-off in Karnataka state has galvanised fears among the minority community about what they say is increasing persecution under the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Read: Another college in India’s Karnataka denies entry to students wearing hijab

Fresh demonstrations on Tuesday saw officers fire tear gas to disperse a crowd at one government-run campus, while a heavy police presence was seen at schools in nearby towns.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai appealed for calm after announcing all high schools in the state would be closed for three days.

“I appeal to all the students, teachers and management of schools and colleges [...] to maintain peace and harmony,” he said.

Students at a government-run high school were told not to wear hijabs last month, an edict that soon spread to other educational institutions in the state.

Campuses have seen escalating confrontations between Muslim students condemning the ban and Hindu pupils that say their classmates have disrupted their education.

“All of a sudden they are saying you are not supposed to wear hijab [...] why did they start now?” asked Ayesha, a teenage student at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College in the coastal city of Udupi.

Ayesha said a teacher had turned her away from her chemistry exam for wearing the garment.

“We are not against any religion. We are not protesting against anyone. It is just for our own rights,” she told AFP.

Fellow student Amrut, standing nearby among a crowd of Hindu boys wearing saffron shawls, said the dispute had unfairly prevented him from attending class.

“We had [...] requested them not to wear hijab,” he said. “But today they are wearing hijab. They are not allowing us to go inside.”

Karnataka’s top court began hearing a petition challenging the legality of the ban on Tuesday but adjourned before issuing a ruling.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party governs Karnataka state and several prominent members have thrown their support behind the ban.

Critics say Modi’s election in 2014 emboldened hardline groups who see India as a Hindu nation and are seeking to undermine its secular foundations at the expense of its 200 million-strong minority Muslim community.

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Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1673813/protests-over-classroom-hijab-ban-grow-in-india


Protests over classroom hijab ban grow in India

Reuters

Published February 7, 2022 - Updated 2 days ago

Photo: Students of government Pre-University college in Kundapur town wearing hijab arrive at their college in Udupi district in India’s Karnataka state on Monday. — AFP

A ban on hijab at schools has prompted an outcry among Muslims in southern India, with large crowds taking to the streets on Monday to protest against the restrictions.

The stand-off in Karnataka state has galvanised fears among the minority community about what they say is increasing persecution under the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Students at a government-run high school were told not to wear hijabs last month, an edict that soon spread to at least two other educational institutions in the state.

“It’s discriminatory in nature and also it’s against the rights that are provided under the constitution of India,” Sumayya Roushan, president of the Girls Islamic Organisation Karnataka, said at a Monday press conference.

Roushan said the ban violated “a personal choice that the students are entitled to, which doesn’t ... harm any other person”.

Social media footage showed hundreds of people gathered on roads and waving Indian flags in at least two towns in Karnataka, the latest in several days of demonstrations held to condemn the bans.

Also read: Another college in India’s Karnataka denies entry to students wearing hijab

One of the schools has since partially yielded, allowing its female Muslim students to attend class with a hijab but instructing them to sit in separate classrooms, according to local media.

Two other schools that had implemented a hijab ban declared a holiday and were closed on Monday.

Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party governs the Karnataka state and several prominent members have thrown their support behind the ban, which has been criticised by other political leaders.

“By letting students’ hijab come in the way of their education, we are robbing the future of the daughters of India,” Rahul Gandhi of the opposition Congress party tweeted last week.

The state’s top court is expected to hear petitions on Tuesday and rule on whether to overturn the bans.