Karnataka hijab row: CPI-M calls it breach of basic constitutional rights, support Muslims girls

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By Abdul Bari Masoud

New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (Marxist), the largest constituent of the Left bloc, backed Muslim girls’ freedom to wear the hijab at schools and colleges on Friday, as the matter of Hijab row erupted in BJP-ruled Karnataka. It stated that excluding Hijab-wearing girls from attending educational institutions is a violation of their fundamental rights.

Exclusively Speaking with Muslim Mirror, CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the ruling BJP at the Center and  in states which being in government is “aggressively pursuing the Hindutva agenda of the fascistic RSS”. He said debarring the girls into educational institutions is a violation of the students’ fundamental rights.

It is not the college authorities’ business what one should wear, and it is a clear breach of basic constitutional rights, according to Yechury, who urged that the prohibition be reversed immediately so that these girls can continue their studies.

The RSS driven Hindutva Rashtra agenda is perniciously eroding the Constitutional framework and destroying the secular democratic character of the Indian Republic, Yechury said while releasing the Draft Political Resolution for 23rd Congress to be held from April 6 to 10, 2022 at Kannur, Kerala.

Meanwhile, in a first assertive remark from the Congress on the ongoing Hijab controversy, former Karnataka Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah backed Muslim girls’ right to wear the hijab to schools and universities.

Denying the girls entry inside a college, that too a government college is a violation of the students’ fundamental rights,” Siddaramaiah told a news conference in Bangalore.

“The principal of a government college closing the gates on the girls who were crying…it is inhuman,” Siddaramaiah said.  He charged that the BJP government had allowed the situation to worsen. “It’s been a month since the row started. He said, “What is the government doing?” According to him, there is no mandatory uniform for pupils to wear. “With that in mind, why did certain BJP members start donning saffron shawls?” “It was done to politicise the situation,” he explained.

UT Khader, Siddaramaiah’s deputy, claimed the hijab, or headscarf, is “a religious obligation” for Muslim women. “It’s happening right now in Udupi.” It’s possible that it’ll happen in Bengaluru and Mangaluru tomorrow. Why is the government deafeningly quiet? He argued that the government should take a stand.

On February 8, the Karnataka High Court will rule on the case.

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