Mangaluru: Days after a government college in Bellare, Karnataka allowed Muslim girl students to wear Hijab - traditional veil used for modesty and as a symbol of dignity, some students from the other faith started wearing saffron colour shawls over the uniform to what they claimed protest against the college decision.
Leading Indian daily The Hindu quoting a student said that college principal Chandrashekar Kantamangala called and questioned the protest students. In response to which they reportedly told the principal that this was a “protest” against a college lecturer and some Muslim girls wearing hijab.
Interestingly, the college named as Dr K Shivaram Karanth Government First Grade College and Post Graduation Centre has about 492 students of which only 15 are Muslim girls and four Muslim boys.
Deccan Chronicle in its report said only a handful of boys wore the shawl on the first day, the number increased on the second day and on Wednesday there were about fifty boys with saffron shawls! Most of the boys are from final year and second year BCom. There are a few from other classes too.
Principal of the College told Deccan Chronicle that the Muslim girls were wearing black shawls (part of the uniform) as scarf and not scarves of other colours.
“Some girls are wearing the black shawl of the uniform on their head and few of them wear it like hijab. However they are wearing only the uniform shawl,” Principal Chandrashekhar said. The college did not stop these girls from wearing scarves as the shawls used by them were part of the uniform.
However a few days ago, a few boys who allegedly have a saffron background, approached the principal and declared that they would wear saffron shawls in the class as a mark of protest against the college allowing Muslim girls wearing scarf.
“Their demand was to stop the Muslim girls wearing scarf,” sources in the college said.