Karnataka's Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Madhu Bangarappa, has said that the state government will adhere to the Supreme Court's ruling, on permitting the wearing of hijabs within school and college campuses.
This decision follows Karnataka Higher Education Minister M C Sudhakar's recent announcement allowing students to wear hijabs during competitive exams in the state.
Minister Bangarappa clarified the government's stance on the matter, stating, "We will adhere to the Supreme Court's decision regarding the wearing of hijab. If the court permits the hijab without any conditions, it will be allowed to be worn. Our actions will be in accordance with the law," as reported by Hindustan Times.
Previously, Minister Sudhakar had stated that candidates participating in recruitment-related exams conducted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority would be allowed to wear hijabs.
However, these announcements have sparked controversy, leading to threats of protests from pro-Hindu groups in the state.
In response to the developments, Minister Bangarappa criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allegedly prioritising issues for electoral gains, rather than focusing on progress and development.
The hijab controversy in Karnataka began in 2022 when students at Government Pre-University College in Udupi were denied entry while wearing hijabs.
This led to protests by Muslim girls and a counter-protest by Hindu students who wore saffron shawls to their classes, eventually resulting in widespread demonstrations and unrest across the state.
The Karnataka High Court had upheld the hijab ban in schools and colleges in 2022, leading to further protests.
Several petitions challenging this decision are currently awaiting review by the Supreme Court.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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