Hijab row: Political leaders call for peace

The debate has sparked outrage and has led to demonstrations across the country

The next hearing on the hijab row is scheduled to be held on 14 February and various political leaders have called for peace and civility, while others have commented on the reactions of various parties.

According to a report from wire agency Asian News International, the Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse asked that political parties refrain from staging protests and maintain peace in his state.

“First of all, it isn’t allowed to protest anywhere, and if someone does, it should be held peacefully. I appeal to political parties not to instigate and everyone should work to maintain peace,” said Walse.

On the other hand, the leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Indresh Kumbar called the ongoing row a “conspiracy” and condemned the “hidden vote bank politics.”

Referring to a video of a Muslim girl protesting a swathe of saffron-clad hecklers, Kumbar had this to say: “I condemn the hidden vote bank politics and the hardliners behind the hijab controversy. I caution the [Muslim] daughters to beware of such people. Be it Congress, or any other political party, they are playing anti-democratic, anti-Constitution and anti-India roles.”

Earlier this week, the Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted that it was a woman’s right to decide what to wear.

In response, The Bharatiya Janta Party’s national general secretary CT Ravi said, “One can’t go to schools and colleges wearing a bikini. It is not right to play politics in schools.” The four-time Karnataka legislator was of the view that uniforms mandated by educational institutions should be donned in schools according to an ANI report.

On Friday, an appeal has been filed in the Supreme Court against the Karnataka High Court’s interim order calling for restraint on students from wearing Hijab or any religious attire till the matter is pending with Court.

The Hijab protests began when Muslim girl students at a Government Pre-university college in Udupi, Karnataka, alleged that they had been barred from attending classes on account of their hijab not matching uniform mandates.

The matter was heard by the Karnataka high Court earlier this week. The three-justice Bench issued an interim order banning students from wearing any religious attire in institutions where uniforms are part of rules, until the matter is decided by the Court.

Rwit (Based off of wire reports from Asia News International)