Nagpur: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday came out in support of the college students protesting in Karnataka, who have been banned to sit in the classrooms wearing hijab.
Vadra took to twitter and said that it’s a woman’s right to choose what she wants to wear—be it a bikini, ghoonghat or a hijab. She added that this choice has been protected by the Constitution of India. She tweeted “Whether it is a bikini, a ghoonghat, a pair of jeans or a hijab, it is a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear. This right is GUARANTEED by the Indian constitution. Stop harassing women. #ladkihoonladsaktihoon”
Extending support, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi replied with a ‘thumbs up’ to Vadra’s tweet. Karnataka Congress leaders, too, have been extending support to the protesting college students. Gandhi earlier tweeted, “By letting students’ hijab come in the way of their education, we are robbing the future of the daughters of India. Ma Saraswati gives knowledge to all. She doesn’t differentiate.”
The Hijab Vs Saffron scarves row started back in December 2021 when six students of Udupi Women’s PU College staged a protest at the campus after the college authorities reportedly refused to let them sit in the classrooms while wearing a hijab. On January 3, the Hindu students of the Government First Grade College in Koppa, Chikmagalur staged a protest wearing saffron scarves. Their demand was to let them wear saffron stoles if the Muslim girls are allowed to wear their hijabs and sit in the classrooms.
Students started protesting across the state and on January 6, Karnataka primary and secondary education minister B.C. Nagesh said that the state was mulling a uniform dress code to avoid further controversies.
On January 31, students of Udupi Women’s PU college approached the high court seeking interim relief to attend classes wearing hijabs. The state government till then asked all the colleges to maintain the status quo until the government comes up with a recommendation on the dress code.
The protest intensified after Kundapur government PU college shut on February 2, its main gate for students wearing hijab. The video of students pleading with the college principal to allow them to sit in the class went viral. On February 3, over 300 Hindu students backed by various Hindutva organisations staged a protest at Byndoor Government PU college.
Leaders of the saffron party have claimed that the Muslim students who want to wear hijabs to the colleges are trying to ‘Talibanise’ the educational institutions.