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Sullia: The ritual of banning the hijab in the college campus is now becoming a trend in the Coastal Belt of Karnataka. A lot of buzz and protests were witnessed in the near past regarding the same issue of banning hijab in some colleges of Dakshin Kannada district. After Sri Ramakunjeshwara First Grade College in Uppinagady in recent past, and a few colleges before that, the Kukke Shri Subrahmanyeshwara College, run by Shri Kukke Subrahmanya temple administration at Subrahmanya in Sullia taluk has become the next in row to impose ban on the burqa for the Muslim students in the campus.
Established in the year 1983, the Kukke Shri Subrahmanyeshwara College has the strength of 625 students at present, among which 280 are boys. The final year degree in the college has seven Muslim girls, whereas second year has five and the first year has three Muslim girls. It is known that prior to this the college had strictly banned the hijab in the class room, but there were no restrictions on the Muslim girls to wear it in the college campus. They were provided with a room in the college where the students could remove their burqas. But since the ban, which was imposed before a week, the students are asked to remove their burqas outside the campus, on the road itself soon after they get down from the bus.
The Muslim girls from the college have said that this rule have put them in a very difficult situation. They are being mocked by the people for removing their burqas on road. Also that, this has opened up a way for the guys to tease the girls.
Justifying their decision, the temple authorities have said that that it is an obligation upon every good educational institution to maintain a dress code. -In order to ensure equality and discipline in the institution, we had to take this decision. All students must wear uniform-, said Krishnaprasad Madtila. He also added that some outside forces were trying to interfere with the college issues. -It is unfortunate that some political forces are trying to create unrest in the college-, he said.
Former Zilla Panchayat member and Congress leader Bharath Mundodi criticized the ban which was imposed by the college. He said that it was undemocratic and objectionable move. He also warned that if the college does not lift the ban within 15 days, they would go for the protest.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajarang Dal and Hindu Jagaran Vedike have alleged that Congress leaders are trying to defame the sanctity of the temple by using the issue for political gains. They submitted a memorandum to the temple administration, urging them not to dilute the ban.
"We will hold protests if the temple administration withdraws the ban", said the Vedike secretary Radhakrishna Bhat.
The Muslim students are quite frustrated with the issue of hijab ban. One of the students said that she was not ready to expose the restricted body parts even inside the campus. She regarded that the ban was shocking.
Wafa Sultana, a student of Law from Mangalore said that though the college was run by a temple trust, it need not go against the Indian constitution, which ensured religious freedom to all the citizens.
She said that these educational institutions should learn from colleges run by Islamic organizations. -Hira Women's College near Thokkottu is managed by Shanthi Educational Trust under the Jamaath-e-Islami Hind. Though this college has made full body covering uniform compulsory for all the students, it has given a special permission to non-Muslim students to dress according to their wish,- she said.
-Muslim girls donít demand permission to wear black burqa. They just want to cover their body completely with the same uniform. However, education institutions in this region are indeed imposing ban on hijab under the pretext of dress code. We should respond to it by building our own institutions in large numbers-, said Ashoora a BBM student from Mangalore.
This issue is taking a critical phase with every coming day in the coastal Karnataka. The Muslims students are tried to keep away from education with the rules which are against the religious rights. The parents say that this is the impact of BJP rule which is bringing up problems for the Muslims in the state with each dawn. If the immediate attention was not given to the problem, it could lead to much serious issues. The Muslim Organizations need to work hand in hand and find the solution, which otherwise could prove fatal to the entire community.