SASG Confronts Karnataka Education Minister in London on Hijab Ban and Bajrang Dal Arms Training

On 19 May, 2022, the Higher Education Minister of Karnataka who has enforced the Hijab Ban in educational institutions in his state and is responsible for the exclusion of Muslim girls and women from education and their subsequent targetting, was the keynote speaker at the Commonwealth Education Conference organised by Bridge India and sponsored by Birmingham City University among others.

Hindu-supremacy Not The Hijab Is The Threat To Public Interest and Order

All over coastal Karnataka, colleges have caved in to the demand by the BJP student wing ABVP and overnight, have done away with their own rules that that till recently allowed Muslim women to wear headscarves (hijabs) matching the colour of the college uniform. Instigated by the ABVP, Hindu students declared they would wear saffron stoles if Muslim women wore hijabs. In response the BJP Government of Karnataka banned the hijab and saffron stoles on campuses as these disrupt “public order” and “harmony”.

Karnataka Hijab Row: Warning from BJP's Southern Laboratory

With Assembly elections underway in Uttar Pradesh and four other states, the BJP is desperately looking for ways to sharpen communal polarisation. We saw a hate assembly in Haridwar, camouflaged as Dharm Sansad, issue open calls for genocide. Similar calls were soon echoed in several other public gatherings. Meanwhile, Karnataka, the Southern laboratory of the Sangh-BJP brigade, has discovered a potent weapon in the hijab worn by many Muslim women.

Increasing State-sponsored Hate and Vigilantism in Karnataka

There has recently been a spate of vigilante actions and moral policing in Karnataka. According to a report in The Print, there have been 11 such cases in the past month in Karnataka, where inter-faith friendships and relationships have been targeted. Couples and even friends and colleagues belonging to different faiths have been threatened and harassed by right-wing vigilante groups for just going home together from work, visiting a restaurant and spending time together.