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The Hijab Protest – What’s it all About?

Written by Kanak Sharma, a grade 10 student

In January 2022 in Karnataka’s Udupi district, 6 Muslim women students were denied entry at the Udupi Pre-University for wearing the hijab…

By I Kid You Not , in Current Stories , at February 10, 2022 Tags: , , ,

Written by Kanak Sharma, a grade 10 student

The hijab protest has been a hot topic of discussion in the news for the past few days.

But what is it really about? 

First, what’s a hijab?

A hijab is a square veil worn by some Muslim women in the presence of any male outside the immediate family. For the believers of Quaran, the hijab is a partition whereas it is referred a “veil to separate man, or the world, from the God” in the metaphysical dimension. 

So, what’s the protest about?

Recently protests regarding the hijab have gained international recognition.

Here’s how it all began,,,

In January 2022 in Karnataka’s Udupi district, 6 Muslim women students were denied entry at the Udupi Pre-University for wearing the hijab. The students were asked to remove the hijab, honouring the recent state government dress code order for educational institutions.

Gradually, as the protest spread, more and more hijab-wearing women, including university students and other women joined in and demanded protection of their constitutional rights.

Then, at Sri Sharda College, some Muslim women students were made to sit in another room – making them feel alienated in their own country. The principal of the college, Mr. Chandravati Shetty, refused to comment on the incident. 

A Muslim activist who spoke at the protest conveyed that their struggle is to protect their sisters’ education, their dignity, their religious freedom, and the country’s constitution. She added “It’s not a hijab controversy. It’s a Saffron controversy” 

Shortly after women wore saffron hijabs and shawls to show their rage. As the protest continued to gain awareness it spread to different parts of the country, including areas like Hassan, Kolar, Shahpur, and prominently Bengaluru.

Violence in some places…

On the 8th of February, as the tension prevailed, the protest took a violent turn when incidents of stone-pelting and barging into campuses were reported, forcing the police to intervene.

In the aftermath, the Karnataka government shut down schools and colleges for 3 days in order to maintain, what they said was, “peace and harmony” . Furthermore, the government banned protests near didactic institutions for two weeks in Bengaluru. 

Amongst the protest and the politics, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee, said that, “whether it’s a bikini, a ghoonghat, a pair of jeans or a hijab, it’s a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear” 

Petitions filed

Under this rebellion, 5 students from the Udupi Pre University filed two petitions (like complaints to the court), one of which argues the fundamental right of choosing what to wear, and the other one questions the legality of recent state government order regarding the dress code.

What did the court do?

The Karnataka High Court, which is hearing the petitions, referred the case to a larger bench, keeping in mind the importance of the question being debated. 

It is my opinion that justice needs to be served and people need to be heard and their constitutional rights need to be honoured.

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Please note: the views expressed in the article belong to the writer. They may or may not reflect the opinions of the platform. I Kid You Not believes in giving a voice to today’s children, no matter what side of the debate they are on.


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