Express press service
MANGALURU: Even as a debate rages over allowing students to wear the hijab in classrooms, several private and subsidized colleges in community-minded Mangaluru, with the exception of a few, allowed Muslim girls to wear headscarves both on campus and in classrooms.
A reality check by the TNIE found that many colleges, including those run by non-Muslims, not only allow hijabs to be worn, but also allow them time to offer Friday prayers at nearby mosques. by making slight changes in the schedules. Interestingly, some of these colleges are linked to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) officials. Sources said these leaders have not fully allowed their Hindutva ideology to creep into the corridors of education, mainly because education means business to them just like everyone else.
Some institutions even have different rules for different colleges, depending on “local conditions”. A group of institutions comprising four colleges, of which a senior official of VHP-Bajrang Dal is the chairman, has strictly banned hijab at PU College located at Kodialbail in the city of Mangaluru. But the headscarf is allowed at one university and at the Ayurveda Medical College, run by the same group, and located in Talapady on the border with Kerala, which is a predominantly Muslim area.
Pradeep Kumar Kalkura, treasurer of this group of institutions, admitted that they banned hijab in their PU university, but not in Ayurveda Medical College. When asked why there are different rules for different colleges, he replied: “The decision-making is decentralized and the respective principals take the call”.
Hijab-clad girls are also welcome at colleges owned by a former BJP minister in Konchady and another linked to an RSS leader in Shaktinagar. The websites of all these colleges even have pictures showing girls wearing hijab. Apart from this, Milagres College, Vikas PU College, St Aloysius College, Shakti PU College, St Anne’s College and Sharada Ayurveda Medical College allow students to wear the headscarf.
Unlike the neighboring district of Udupi, the epicenter of the hijab controversy, the educational center of Mangaluru has a large Muslim population, and the residents of Muslim-majority Kasaragod also depend on Mangaluru for education. In this context, sources in the field of education point out that it will be extremely difficult for educational institutions to become hostile to a community that has a huge spending capacity.
Echoing similar views, Vidya Dinker, a rights activist, says there are two reasons why the interesting Mangaluru phenomenon is unaffected by the hijab row that rocked Udupi. “It’s already polarized and the right wing elements have enough cadres in colleges in Mangaluru. So they’re not investing their time and resources in creating this bogey here. Secondly, the private educational institutions in the district only focus on business and they don’t want to harm their business interests by talking about such things,” she said.
Muslim group UP supports Mandya’s girl in burqa
Ayodhya, Bangalore (ENS and Agencies): The Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) has backed PES College student in burka, Mandya, who was heckled by a group of youths shouting “Jai Shri Ram” slogans, saying that the ‘purdah’ is part of Indian culture. A video of the young girl, Bibi Muskan Khan, confronting young people wearing saffron headscarves has gone viral on social media. ‘She (Khan) is the daughter and sister of our community , we stand by her in this time of crisis,” Anil Singh, MRM’s Prant Sanchalak (Awadh) told PTI. In a statement, Singh said, the country’s constitution gives the girl the right to wear a hijab. The group of boys waving ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogans and heckling her is not acceptable.