The hijab row in Karnataka has been raging for more than a month, with protests and counter-demonstrations by Muslim and Hindu students alike. The Karnataka High Court has now asked students to refrain from wearing hijab,
saffron scarves, or any other piece of cloth signifying religious affiliation until the issue is resolved.
There is a video circulated in social media where Hindu male students are heckling a Muslim woman who is wearing a burqa and raising slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram, to which she responds ‘Allah Hu Akbar’. My opinion is that both parties involved are wrong. The sloganeering by the Hindu students provoked the Muslim girl to respond in kind, and clearly shows how such incidents can lead to communal disturbance and disrupt harmony. I believe she should have not responded through the use of ‘Allah hu Akbar’. I feel that her use of religion to counter the Hindu men’s sloganeering further escalated the crisis. I am not placing the entire blame on the girl for the hijab row, or saying that only her response has spurred this into potentially becoming a major communal unrest. But since the video has more than a million views by now, her response also played a big part in how the row has progressed.
Uniforms and combating communal issues
The idea of uniform enables everybody to maintain certain uniformity. Uniforms are created so that nobody is discriminated against based on their gender, caste, religion or any other such aspects.
Uniforms are introduced in the education system right from the age we join playschools to infuse in little minds the idea that everybody is equal. Everybody should be proud of who they are in any aspect. I feel this is the time to show our unity through uniforms. People who are protesting for their religion should understand instigating and getting instigated
are both wrong. Everyone protesting the matter should come together to find a path to move ahead without resorting to religious sloganeering or violence.
Politicians too should not indulge in communal politics, but work together to find an amicable solution to the ongoing issue. I believe the solution should be taken keeping in mind why uniforms exist in educational institutions in the first place.
The author is a student at Gitam University, Visakhapatnam. Views are personal