Mangalore college tells students not to wear burqa

In Mangalore a college has asked girl students to shun the burqa (veil) and headscarf.

Aysha Asmin, a 17-year-old student, has not been attending college for the past 10 days as the first year B. Com student was allegedly asked by her college authorities not to wear a headscarf.

"At the time I joined they never told us about any such rule. Suddenly two days back they said not to wear a burqa or a headscarf. Other Muslim students don't wear it, but that is their choice. I feel I should wear it as it's my faith," says Aysha.

Ayesha's family says the college gave the diktat to her last week. This diktat by the government-run Sri Venkataramana Swamy College has the Muslim community up in arms.

"I have given a complaint to the Vice-Chancellor. I won't stop this fight until I get justice. I will take this protest forward. I will complain to the Chief Minister if need be," says Ayesha's father Mohammed.

Students' Islamic Organisation President Abdul Jalal, too, says they will protest against the order and even go to the courts.

"This is not a college run by the Bajrang Dal or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). It is a government-aided college. We will question such rules and will take the fight to the courts," Jalal adds.

But college authorities maintain they are abiding by rules

"These rules are mentioned in our college prospectus. It was clear from the beginning," points out college Principal Dr Seetharamayya.

But the college prospectus makes no mention of any such ban. Ayesha now says she would like to leave the Sri Venkataramana Swamy College and get a seat elsewhere.

But as admissions are no longer open, that avenue is also closed to her.


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