Everyone Should Abide by HC and Govt Order, Says Karnataka CM

With the headscarf issue re-emerging in Mangaluru, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bhumi on Saturday emphasized that everyone should abide by the orders of the Supreme Court and the orders of the government. Referring to the case being closed after the union meeting at Mangalore University, he asked the students to focus on education rather than getting into such issues.

“There’s no need to stir debate about the headscarf (again), the court has made its order, and everyone must abide by the court order and the government’s order. The majority of them, about 99.99 percent, are following it. The union’s decision is also that the court order must be followed … In my opinion, studies should be important to students. He told reporters here, “The topic was closed after a meeting yesterday. There was a union meeting of the university.” The Vice-Chancellor of University of Mangalore Prof. P. Subramanya Yadabaditthaya said on Friday that the college would facilitate the admission of Muslim female students to other institutions if they insisted on wearing the hijab inside the classroom.

The vice president of the university said that veiled students will be given advice and an attempt will be made to convince them of the necessity of attending classes without the veil. The headscarf issue came back to the fore again on Thursday as a group of students from University College Mangaluru staged a protest on campus claiming that few Muslim students attend classes wearing the headscarf.

The Karnataka High Court on March 15 rejected the petitions of a group of female Muslim students for permission to wear headscarves in the classroom. The three-judge panel consisting of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasti, Judge Krishna S Dixit and Judge GM Khazi noted that the description of school uniform is only a reasonable limitation, constitutionally permissible, and cannot be contested by students.

Following the decision of the Supreme Court, the Department of Pre-University Education has made a uniform determined by the College Development Committee, which is mandatory for Pre-University (PU) students from the 2022-23 academic year. It also states that in the absence of a uniform by the College Development Committee or the administration, students must wear a dress that “maintains equality and unity, and does not disturb public order”.

In response to a question about demands for the dismissal of Textbook Review Committee Chair Ruhith Chakratiratha, accusing him of “shaking” the textbooks, by including a lesson regarding RSS founder Keshav Paleram Hedgwar’s speech and making other changes, Bhumai said he would discuss this with Primary and Secondary. Education Minister BC Nagesh talks about the developments. “He (Najesh) is aware of all developments and I will talk to him and make a decision,” he added.

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