Asserting that this right is guaranteed by the Constitution, the Congress leader said people should stop harassing women when it comes to the choice of clothes. The hijab row in Karnataka has snowballed into a big political situation.
New Delhi: The ongoing hijab row in Karnataka has drawn several political reactions, cutting across party lines. And now Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has commented on the issue and said that it is a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear – be it a bikini, a ‘ghoonghat’, a pair of jeans or a ‘hijab’. She asserted that this right is guaranteed by the Constitution.
Incidents of stone-pelting and use of force by police were reported on Tuesday (February 8) as the hijab row in Karnataka escalated and protests by students spread to more colleges, prompting the state government to declare a three-day holiday for all educational institutions.
“Whether it is a bikini, a ghoonghat, a pair of jeans or a hijab, it is a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear,” Gandhi tweeted.
“This right is GUARANTEED by the Indian constitution. Stop harassing women,” she said using the hashtag ‘ladkihoonladsaktihoon’.
The hijab row has seen widely polarised reactions from parties, activists. The row has taken a political colour as the ruling BJP stands strongly in support of uniform-
related rules being enforced by educational institutions, calling the headscarf a religious symbol, while the opposition Congress has come out in support of Muslim
girls. Apart from India’s leaders, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai reacted to this too. Hitting out at Indian leaders, Malala asked them to stop the marginalisation of Muslim women. Malala said refusing to let girls go to school in their hijabs is ‘horrifying’.
The problem began when last month, six students of Government Girls PU college in Udupi, alleged that they had been barred from classes for insisting on keeping on
the hijab. The pre-University education board had released a circular stating that the students can only wear the uniform approved by the school administration and
no other religious practices will be allowed in colleges. The protests then spread to more colleges in Udupi and other cities like Mandya and Shivamogga.
The tension has spread to different parts of the state with Hindu students too responding by turning up in saffron shawls. Such saffron-clad students are also being barred from entering classes.