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BJP questions Karnataka’s hijab ban lift

December 26, 2023

The BJP has expressed strong disapproval of the recent decision by the Karnataka government to lift the ban on wearing hijabs in educational institutions. They contend that this move by the ruling Congress party is reminiscent of the historical British strategy of ‘divide and rule,’ and they voice concerns regarding the potential impact on the ‘secular nature’ of educational spaces. The BJP Karnataka chief, Vijayendra, has been vocal in criticizing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, accusing him of disrupting the academic atmosphere and accusing the Congress of engaging in divisive politics.

In a press conference held in New Delhi, Vijayendra expressed his discontent, stating, “The Chief Minister made an irresponsible statement that he will revoke the ban on Hijab. This way, he has spoiled the educational atmosphere in the state. At least, he should have spared children from his dirty politics.”

Furthermore, the BJP state president alleges a perceived double standard in the approach, asserting that while the Congress supports the lifting of the hijab ban, there have been reports of Hindu women being compelled to remove traditional symbols such as ‘mangal sutra’ and toe rings during exams. Vijayendra accuses the Congress of practicing ‘appeasement politics’ ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, contending, “even after so many years of independence, the literacy and employment rate among minorities is still 50 per cent. Congress never tried to elevate the condition of minorities.” He argues that the Congress’s strategy mirrors the British ‘divide and rule’ legacy, suggesting that it perpetuates a divisive approach that is detrimental to the unity of the nation.

Taking to social media platform ‘X,’ Vijayendra underscores concerns about the secular nature of educational spaces, emphasizing that Siddaramaiah’s decision to withdraw the hijab ban might contribute to creating a divisive learning environment. He states, “By allowing religious attire in educational institutions, Siddaramaiah’s government is dividing young minds along religious lines, potentially hindering the inclusive learning environment.”

Highlighting the need to prioritize education over divisive practices, the BJP state chief advocates for fostering an environment where students can focus on academics without being influenced by religious practices. Notably, in 2022, the previous BJP government had instituted the ban on wearing hijabs in educational institutions in Karnataka.

Also read: Complex issues in Hijab controversy

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