'Govt Will Withdraw Hijab Ban', Says Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (Video)

'Govt Will Withdraw Hijab Ban', Says Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah (Video)

In a post on X, the CM said a direction has been given to the officials in this regard

Shankar RajUpdated: Saturday, December 23, 2023, 01:43 PM IST
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REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE | FPJ

Reiterating his earlier stand, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said that his government will withdraw the hijab ban. In a post on X, the CM said a direction has been given to the officials in this regard.

Karnataka CM takes to X

Though a ban is not in place, the CM tweeted in Kannada: “I have told (officials) to withdraw it." Just a few days back, Siddaramaiah had said in an event: “We will take back that decision; there is no hijab ban now. Women can go out wearing one. (I have told the officials to take back the previous government order)."

However, an official order is yet to come by. The Karnataka chief minister also accused the BJP of "dividing the people on the basis of clothes, dress and caste". The ban was first imposed by the BJP government in the state's educational institutions in 2022.

Karnataka CM: it is a personal choice to choose attire

Siddaramaiah said that it is a personal choice to wear the kind of dress one wants. "Dressing and eating is a matter of choice, why should I object? Wear whatever dress you want, eat whatever you want, why should I care?’’ Siddaramaiah was quoted by a news agency. This statement may give a handle to Hindu outfits that have tried to coax students to wear a saffron scarf.

CM's move likely to irk schools run by minority Christian community

The CM's move may also irk schools run by the minority Christian community which takes a rather stern view of a dress code for students. It was almost two years ago when the hijab controversy first erupted. In January 2022, when the BJP was in power, some students of a pre-university college in Udupi were not allowed to attend classes wearing hijab.

Later in February 2022, the Karnataka government had imposed a ban on hijab in classrooms. This led to mass protests across the state and clashes broke out among the students from two communities.

Earlier protests in Shivamogga

Section 144 was imposed in Shivamogga to restrict public gatherings after protests turned violent. On February 10, 2022, the Karnataka High Court passed an interim order saying colleges in the state can reopen, but students cannot be allowed to wear any piece of clothing that is religious till the matter is pending.

Following this, petitions were filed before the Supreme Court against the high court directives in the interim order. On March 15, 2022, the Karnataka High Court ruled that hijab is not part of essential Islamic religious practice and upheld the state government's ban on wearing headscarf in educational institutions.

SC Verdict on Hijab ban

The verdict was challenged before the Supreme Court. However, on October 13, 2022, the Supreme Court delivered a split verdict on hijab ban. It directed placing all the appeals against Karnataka High Court order before the Chief Justice of India (CJI) for constitution of a larger bench. The matter is still pending in the apex court.

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