Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Lifting hijab ban in Karnataka raises concern about ‘secular nature’ of educational spaces, says BJP


Bengaluru: The BJP on Saturday strongly reacted to Karnataka government’s decision to withdraw the ban on wearing hijab in educational institutions in the state, saying the ruling Congress is carrying forward the British policy of ‘divide and rule’.

The saffron party also stated that the move raises concerns about the “secular nature” of educational spaces.

The reaction comes a day after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said that he ordered lifting of the restrictions on wearing hijab, while observing that choice of dress and food is personal.

Addressing reporters in New Delhi, BJP Karnataka chief, Vijayendra accused Siddaramaiah of ‘vitiating’ the academic atmosphere.

Condemning the Congress government’s decision, he said, “The Chief Minister made an irresponsible statement that he will revoke the ban on Hijab. This way, he has spoilt the educational atmosphere in the state. At least, he should have spared children from his dirty politics.” The BJP state president alleged that while the Congress wants to lift the ban on hijab, on the other hand Hindu women who went to appear for an exam were forced to remove their ‘mangal sutra’ and toe rings.

Accusing the Congress of indulging in ‘appeasement politics’ ahead of Lok Sabha elections, Vijayendra claimed, “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.” “Congress believes in the divide and rule policy which the British rulers had adopted. It amounts to carrying forward the British legacy,” he added.

Earlier in a post on ‘X’, Vijayendra charged the state government with ‘dividing’ young minds along religious lines.

“CM Siddaramaiah’s decision to withdraw the Hijab ban in educational institutions raises concerns about the secular nature of our educational spaces,” the Shikaripura MLA said.

“By allowing religious attire in educational institutions Siddaramaiah government is dividing young minds along religious lines, potentially hindering the inclusive learning environment.” The BJP state chief stressed that it was crucial to prioritise education over divisive practices and foster an environment where students can focus on academics without the influence of religious practices.

In 2022, the previous BJP government banned wearing of hijab in educational institutions in Karnataka.


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