Educational institution

Educational institution has no room for religious observance, HM laments

Amid controversy over the wearing of hijab (Islamic headscarf) and saffron shawls in some educational institutions in Karnataka, state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra has ordered that both be banned , stating that an educational institution is “not a place of religious practice”. “It is not a place for religious practice and children should not go to practice their religion. There are temples, churches and mosques for prayer and religious worship. We are free to do whatever what we want. Students must acquire the culture that we are all the offspring of Bharat Mata (Mother of India). What if students do not receive the sacrament of ‘national unity’? This is something that should be considered,” according to Jnanendra.

Karnataka Education Minister BC Nagesh made similar comments and said the government does not want the educational institution to become a battleground between two groups. He added that it was a sacred space and that every student should feel equal. “We have said that we will organize a committee which will submit a final report before the next academic year, and the government will take a clear position on this,” he added.

Earlier Wednesday, students at a college in Karnataka were not allowed to attend classes while wearing a hijab in the second such dispute in the state this year. Students at a pre-university institution in the coastal town of Kundapur in Udupi district of Karnataka can be seen begging outside the administration in a video that has become popular on social media. The students are seen asking the college administrator to let them wear the hijab in class. As the students corner the principal, he responds by saying that he received instructions from the local MP to maintain uniformity and prevent students from coming to campus wearing the hijab. The principal said only those who take off their hijab will enter the campus. It is said that some Hindu students protested against the Muslim girls who came to university with the hijab, who came with a saffron shawl. After the meeting, it was decided to maintain uniformity.

Apart from the government pre-university college in Kundapur, a college in Bhadravati also witnessed a similar situation in which students came with a saffron shawl to protest against the students who came with hijab. Meanwhile, a similar incident happened at Udupi Government College a few days ago. More than a dozen Muslim students protested the authority of the college to prevent them from wearing the hijab.

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