'Hijab may affect academic process, make others uncomfortable'

Published: July 17, 2012
College management in India imposes ban on wearing Islamic headgear. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

College management in India imposes ban on wearing Islamic headgear. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

BANGALORE: A blanket ban has been imposed against wearing hijab in the Sri Ramakunjeshwara First Grade College in Karnataka, India Today reported on Tuesday.

According to the management of the college, wearing hijab in classrooms may affect the academic process and would make students belonging to other communities feel uncomfortable.

The India Today’s report stated that more than 100 Muslim students of the college have been boycotting classes in protest against the blanket ban.

The report quoted college Principal Vasanth Rao saying “there is no discrimination. We are implementing a [disciplinary] rule that already existed. The parents were aware of it.”

“We have a common code for uniform and that cannot be broken,” another member of the management said.

The report also said that Muslim leaders have approached district administration and threatened to take the issue to court if justice is not served.

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Reader Comments (42)

  • Nadia T
    Jul 17, 2012 - 9:47PM

    Yeah right, there is no discrimination against Muslim students! so may I ask when you are imposing a ban on Sikh turbans?


  • Interesting
    Jul 17, 2012 - 9:48PM

    Having a girl’s cleavage on display on the other hand has been found to enhance development and learning….study by B-S. Hitter et al (2012)

    How about you leave us to dress how we want. This is a perfect example of idiocy in the veil (totally intended!) of intelligence. Pathetic.


  • Big Rizvi
    Jul 17, 2012 - 9:57PM

    Is this news? What about the 20,000 people that died in Burma? Why the selective humanitarianism and the limited supply of tears?


  • from India
    Jul 17, 2012 - 10:04PM

    If Sikhs can wear turbans then a Muslim girl can wear head scarf as well. As long as she is not hiding her face or breaking any rule of the college, its perfectly fine. I am a Hindu but I condemn this ban since it serves no purpose other than increasing communal tensions.


  • Jul 17, 2012 - 10:19PM

    agreed from India, the gang wants to create communal gap across the common people who have a liberal mind and want to go ahead in the challenging world.


  • Ali
    Jul 17, 2012 - 10:25PM

    LOL…India wannabe French :)


  • BlackJack
    Jul 17, 2012 - 10:30PM

    Unnecessary and provocative.


  • Azeema
    Jul 17, 2012 - 10:32PM

    this is ridiculous.


  • Javed
    Jul 17, 2012 - 10:38PM

    What next exposing belly distracts students so sari will be banned? Indians!!


  • obaid
    Jul 17, 2012 - 11:08PM

    Discrimination in India against Muslims is more rampant than what is actually identified in the media. An educational institute that conditions education on the dress code is not worth getting education from.


  • Parvez
    Jul 17, 2012 - 11:15PM

    We in Pakistan should be the last ones to criticise them, we should look inwards as to the may wrongs happening here and are try correct those.
    If it is wrong their system will address it according to their laws and customs.


  • Vikas
    Jul 17, 2012 - 11:43PM

    Yeah..sure..Muslims should not go there for education. By the way, do you know there are almost none muslim run school and colleges in India. This shows the commitment of the muslim society towards education. And then they claim to be laggards,


  • Logic Europe
    Jul 17, 2012 - 11:55PM

    head scarf can not be banned also Pakistanis should look at their behavior with Minorities before criticising India where minorities are much more empowerd than in Pakistan


  • C. Nandkishore
    Jul 18, 2012 - 12:07AM

    I don’t see any wrong. If every woman, irrespective of religion, must wear a burka in Saudi Arabia, then every woman, irrespective of religion, must not wear a burka in France.


  • faraz anwar
    Jul 18, 2012 - 12:28AM

    this is just an excuse!!! just see in Middle East where girls wear proper hijab and have performed very well/


  • G. Din
    Jul 18, 2012 - 12:38AM

    It has nothing to do with “hijab” or “burqa”, per se! It is a question of being harmonious with your environment and therefore being acceptable. If majority of students are disturbed by your behaviour, then you don’t belong there. Go to a madrassa, instead. There is absolutely no reason why your eccentricities should have to be accommodated by others. For the same reasons, going with a head-cover for ladies in a Muslim environment is objectionable. Above all, there are no entitlements for anyone. You must learn to get along with others around you. We will not rearrange our environment to suit your religious proclivities just as you wouldn’t, to suit ours. If you believe these are your God-given rights, claim them where God or His agents can enforce them! For instance, in a “madrassa”!


  • Anwar
    Jul 18, 2012 - 1:17AM



  • usali
    Jul 18, 2012 - 1:41AM

    So tomorrow, some other people will get distracted with men’s beard. What nonsense. At least it is a matter of personal choice.

    @ Logic Europe We haven’t forced any minority woman to wear Niqab


  • Logic Europe
    Jul 18, 2012 - 1:43AM

    name any woman in middle east who achieved ??@ Faraz Anwar


  • Giri
    Jul 18, 2012 - 1:56AM

    I heard there is nothing in Quran that enforces women to wear hijab. There will sure be more attention on women who wear hijab, thus distracting the students. The girls in the college do not wear the item girls dresses you see in Bollywood movies. They just wear normal and modest dresses and that should be enough, according to the college. I don’t see any point in protesting and boycotting classes due to this. The students and parents should sort out the matter with college. If feel, they should see how it goes, for girls without wearing hijab and then based on that either continue or discontinue.Recommend

  • Observer
    Jul 18, 2012 - 4:18AM

    @G. Din:
    You sound ridiculous. So all of a sudden since the wars on terror, the girls who cover up are no longer harmonious with their environment and belong in madrassas. Do me a favour! People have been long covering their heads since all of a sudden people didn’t like it anymore. And people like you who are psuedo-liberal (keep in mind, the word liberal means having the freedom to do what you want without having had any form of prejudice being held against your person) are not helping the situation. If people are allowed to prance around with multiple piercings, “outrageous” tattoos and “crazy” hairdos, which people applaud as them expressing their identity in the way the know how, then people can wear a piece of cloth on their heads if they want to without feeling the need to be stripped of what they believe to be their identity. Welcome to globalisation. Get used to it and liberate your mind.


  • Observer
    Jul 18, 2012 - 4:30AM

    Agreed, there is nothing in the Quran that says how you should cover up your modesty “except for that which is apparent”. Now this could range from your basic anatomical nakedness ie feel free to walk around with a couple of fig leaves if you will, or you might think this means only your hand and face ie, cover up as you feel. It’s all about interpretation and more importantly how comfortable you feel with yourself, different people have different ideas of modesty.
    If the girls are in danger due to wearing the scarf, then obviously precautions need to be taken (take it off, if you know that you may be beaten up for it etc), But by what you say, the Quran doesn’t tell you how to pray either so it’s not always as simple as saying “well it’s not in the holy book” ergo not valid. But completely agree with you that there’s no point in boycotting, it will get you nowhere.


  • Observer
    Jul 18, 2012 - 4:35AM

    Also the most amazing and inspirational hijabi modern women I’ve heard of are Hana-Tajima Simpson (a fashion designer, successful may I just add) and Yvonne Ridley. They are amazing at what they do and people aren’t wrongly affected by them.


  • kaalchakra
    Jul 18, 2012 - 5:30AM

    Wow! India has openly declared itself an anti-Islamic nation. Are Indian Muslims going to accept this deliberate humiliation to 2.3 billion people of the world? Pakistan must extend all support to Indian Muslims in this difficult hour of their trial.


  • Zeeshan
    Jul 18, 2012 - 6:11AM


    Are you for real? How did you pass your matriculation? Aligarh, Jamia Islamia are examples of the famous Muslim institutions in your country. Here, go through this list and come back to me:


    I have been paying attention to your viscous and hateful comments toward Pakistanis and Muslims and after being here for a few months, you still failed to moderate your voice.

    “It has nothing to do with “hijab” or “burqa”, per se! It is a question of being harmonious with your environment and therefore being acceptable. If majority of students are disturbed by your behaviour, then you don’t belong there.”

    If a majority of White students found Black students of affecting their superiority complex and study, should we segregate that institution so that “harmony” could be maintained?

    “Go to a madrassa, instead. There is absolutely no reason why your eccentricities should have to be accommodated by others.”

    Look at the statement!! These Muslim women are attending madrassahs sanctioned by the state. They are there to seek knowledge and acquire cultural capital approved by the state. If your state could start giving BScs and BAs in madrassahs, then these women would not be attending your institutions.

    “For the same reasons, going with a head-cover for ladies in a Muslim environment is objectionable. Above all, there are no entitlements for anyone. You must learn to get along with others around you. We will not rearrange our environment to suit your religious proclivities just as you wouldn’t, to suit ours. If you believe these are your God-given rights, claim them where God or His agents can enforce them! For instance, in a “madrassa”!”

    How come you never follow what you’ve preached? Should we ask students/professors who can’t get along with Muslim students to teach/attend Banaras instead?


  • 123
    Jul 18, 2012 - 6:45AM

    One word – Ridiculous!


  • Lobe
    Jul 18, 2012 - 7:23AM

    I am from bangalore and my sister used to study in the same collage and i must say its a good move.


  • Raw is War
    Jul 18, 2012 - 7:33AM

    i agree


  • Jul 18, 2012 - 8:17AM

    The Hijab doesn’t affect, but a burqa definitely will. But, banning is not the way to go about it.

    Peer pressure works better than any ban. Just have an open atmosphere in the campus and the Muslim girls will automatically will take off the Burqa. How weird will it be for them if they walk with their friends, who are walking freely and you are enclosed in a head to toe, numbing Burqa.

    Wrong approach.


  • amalgam
    Jul 18, 2012 - 9:00AM

    muslims need to keep their religion at home .wearing hijab burqua makes discrimination between students.

    even in catholic schools in india you can;t put a tilak on your head only cross symbol is allowed.


  • Shah
    Jul 18, 2012 - 9:47AM

    Lets look at dispassionately. We should know one thing that Divine Laws are for eternity. Is Hijab a Divine Law? I think not. Allah only says to guard against immodesty and immorality. Hijab is not part of iman. It is part of nothing. It is a climatic requirement. Nothing else. In the hot desert no one can go uncovered head to toe. If you do you will be sand blasted. Women in India who are not Muslims go out head and hands covered. I can send you many photographs in this respect. Take a camera and stroll in May any where in India like Delhi, Hyderabad or just any cosmopolitan city. They are not wearing out of an religious compunction but climatic and geographic. Covering up existed even before Islam and so was beard. We must try to differentiate between what is the Divine Command and what the mulla or mullies have interpreted. Even a guy like Qk. Zakir Naik is becoming a mulla. A failed medical doctor who has nothing to do with Islam is now a Mufti. When he falls sick he wants to go to a specialist but when it comes to Islam quacks like him will do. Now please dont make this an issue. Hijab is not a Divine Command but just a climatic and a geographic requirement. Think about it yourself. Dont fall for any mulla’s or mullies interpretation which is frozen in time any ways.


  • noone
    Jul 18, 2012 - 10:10AM

    Hijab doesn’t affect anyone as many ladies including non-Muslims wear it to protect from pollution and heat . But wearing a burqa in school simply ridiculous . There are many instances where thieves wearing burqa steal babies from hospitals .There are many instances where burqa clad ladies involve in malpractices in exams .So , they should respect public rules and keep their faith within there home .


  • BlackJack
    Jul 18, 2012 - 10:44AM

    Exactly. If a hijab is going to mess with your concentration, don’t expect much from academics anyway. However, a burqa would be a bit disconcerting for the teacher as well as fellow students. When I was in junior college in Hyderabad (which was still largely segregated till high school level) girls used to come in burqas of various colors, but would remove both the overcoat as well as the headgear/ facecover in class – today the visible elements of religion are much more in-your-face, which is where some of this backlash is coming from (never used to see really young children in hijabs in those days – now it seems omnipresent). But this step by the college is rather upsetting for students and will only make them more conscious of their religious identities in educational institutions which should be completely secular.


  • Pollack
    Jul 18, 2012 - 11:16AM

    Hijab is a sign of repression of woman. Progressive and liberal societies should not tolerate it. If its the Arab custom to wear hijab, let them wear it. It’s scary to see non Arabs adopt these Arab attitudes imposed through the cloak of religion.


  • Ahmer Ali
    Jul 18, 2012 - 11:54AM

    If nuns can wear complete dress including covering her heads fully then why muslim girls can’t wear scarfs????


  • Khan
    Jul 18, 2012 - 12:57PM

    Muslims should read and understand the commandments of Allah. This is mandatory, if they claim to be Muslims. Just listening to the sermons illiterate and sectarian Mullahs shall destroy their own selves.

    Mullahs and Mullanis are out to just collect donations from gullible masses., as they They have to keep the ball rolling, that is why they keep on popping one issue after other. They don’t want masses to be educated. In Pakistan they are destroying schools physically and where they cannot blow up the school, they are destroying it by their twisted sermons. In India, they are not so powerful, still they misguide to keeps their shops shining.

    Please find in Quran what Allah wants you to be. If you think just by covering your hair with a piece of cloth and exposing other parts of body with fitted clothes is ordained by God , then think twice, read again and again and ponder upon it.

    The requirement, as I understand, for men and women first is to lower their gaze and guard their modesty, cover bosoms, lengthen their dress (How much to lengthen depends on individual environment , this is the mercy of Allah), wear lose garments and cover your figures with a shawl or lose cloth. No one will object if you are modest, courteous and helpful to fellow human beings irrespective of religion, caste or creed. Remember, living upright and Character is of paramount importance in Islam.


  • Wolfie loves kulfi
    Jul 18, 2012 - 5:28PM

    India is a secular country ,I agree hijab should be banned we are not a sharia republic
    and there is no place for a community to impose it’s religious belief just cause they are part of a multicultural system either stay in India and follow the laws of the land or please leave to a country where u feel u are not oppressed as the rule is same for everyone be I hindu, sikh, christian, Jewish, buddhist or Parsi or Muslim in India


  • Giri
    Jul 18, 2012 - 8:40PM

    Someone made correct statement, in catholic schools in India, no one is allowed to sport tilaks. I had to take out my tilak before entering the school. Hindus don’t have much choice but to follow and adjust what the rules are, for they know, education is the most important. Below that, everything is secondary.


  • from India
    Jul 18, 2012 - 9:41PM

    In Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia, non-Muslim boys and girls are allowed to wear what they want. I have seen girls in Jamia wearing jeans and sleeveless top and walking around the campus. So, here this hijab ban is absurd.

    And, somebody compared with Saudi Arabia forcing non-Muslim women to wear head scarves. Well, two wrongs do not make a right. What Saudis are doing is totally wrong but that doesn’t mean India should deprive their minority from practicing their religion. Moreover, headscarf is a petty issue as compared to burqa which can sometimes lead to security concerns in certain places, as we have seen before.


  • BruteForce
    Jul 18, 2012 - 10:15PM


    The Muslim minorities in India are wearing Religion on their sleeves. I saw a 2 or 3 year old girl made to wear a hijab the other day. It seemed very strange.


    Jul 18, 2012 - 10:20PM

    So its all up in arms if the Indians decide it; but its perfectly ok if Turkey disallows it? Damn hypocrisy!


  • Vikram
    Jul 26, 2012 - 2:14AM

    It is strange very few Muslim women wear Hijab or burqa in US. Most converts in their middle age wear burqa to protect themselves from bad non-Muslims.

    Muslim women have a right to wear Hijab in India.


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