India says motivated comments not welcome after US remarks on hijab row

Amid a global uproar on the hijab row, India Saturday said that "motivated comments on our internal issues are not welcome"

Feb 12, 2022
Hijab row (Photo: Rediff)

Amid a global uproar on the hijab row, India Saturday said that "motivated comments on our internal issues are not welcome".  Muslim students in several colleges in Karnataka state are demanding that they be allowed to attend classes wearing a hijab.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: "A matter regarding dress code in some educational institutions in the State of Karnataka is under judicial examination by the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka. Our constitutional framework and mechanisms, as well as our democratic ethos and polity, are the context in which issues are considered and resolved," Mr Bagchi said in a statement.

"Those who know India well would have a proper appreciation of those realities," he added.

Bagchi's response came when asked by the media about comments by some countries on dress code in some educational institutions in Karnataka. On Friday  a US government body that monitors and reports on religious freedom abroad had criticised the hijab ban.

Rashad Hussain, the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, or IRF, tweeted "hijab bans in schools violate religious freedom", referring to the controversy in Karnataka that prompted the state government to keep schools and colleges shut till the Karnataka High Court completes a judicial review of the appeals against the ban by Muslim women. 

The hijab row started in Karnataka in December end when a few students of a government pre-university college in Udupi who attended classes wearing headscarves were asked to leave the campus. The matter then spread to different parts of the state, with youngsters, backed by right-wing outfits, responding by wearing saffron scarves and even heckling Muslim women.


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