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Kolkata teacher quits over hijab issue; authorities cite miscommunication

June 11, 2024

Sanjida Qadar, a teacher at LJD Law College, affiliated with the University of Calcutta, resigned after allegedly being asked not to wear a hijab at work. The incident came to light when Sanjida, who had been employed at the college for three years, claimed that the college authorities instructed her not to wear her hijab after May 31, which she felt offended her values and religious sentiments.

The issue quickly sparked public outrage, prompting the college authorities to clarify the situation. They insisted that the controversy was due to a miscommunication and emphasized their respect for religious sentiments. The governing body chairman, Gopal Das, stated there was no prohibition on wearing a hijab and assured that Sanjida would resume her duties after withdrawing her resignation. He explained that prolonged discussions had resolved the misunderstanding.

Despite this assurance, Sanjida received an email from the college allowing her to cover her head with a dupatta or scarf while teaching but indicated she would not return to college on Tuesday, needing time to decide her next steps.

West Bengal minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury, also president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, supported Sanjida, calling for an apology from the college governing body president. He questioned if the college’s actions were influenced by the RSS and BJP, pointing out that while the college had no issue with Sikh turbans, it seemed to target Muslims specifically.

Chowdhury accused the college of promoting regressive values and inciting students against a teacher for wearing a hijab. He criticized the management’s actions, emphasizing that a law college should uphold constitutional values and laws. He pledged to bring the matter to the attention of the law minister to explore possible actions against the college, questioning the college’s adherence to modern, secular, and pluralistic values of the state.

Source: PTI

Also read: Famous hijab-wearing personalities around the world

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