As the controversy over wearing the 'hijab' on campus rages on in Karnataka, Congress MP from Kerala TN Prathapan on Monday, February 7, raised the issue in the Lok Sabha, saying the garment of the Muslim women is like "mangalsutra for Hindus, the crucifix of the Christians and turbans for the Sikhs." He demanded the Union education minister's intervention in the matter.
"Girls are sitting outside classrooms and demanding their fundamental rights. The hijab is a part of their cultural and religious identity of these girls. It is like the mangalsutra for Hindus, crucifix for the Christians and turbans for the Sikhs," Prathapan said during Zero Hour.
He also said that there is a tendency of some people in this country that if they see a Sikh with a turban protesting against the government, they will "call him a Khalistani." He said that if they see a person wearing a cross he will be "attacked."
"If they see a Muslim girl wearing a hijab, they will stop them for getting education. Where are they taking our India? We cannot lose our diversity. I request the education minister to interfere in this issue to ensure the constitutional rights of these girls. That is real Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas," he said.
Earlier, IUML Lok Sabha MPs had given adjournment notice to demand discussion on the Udupi Hijab row in Karnataka which took place recently.
The standoff over the hijab continued in Karnataka, as more colleges barred students wearing the hijab from attending classes. The Karnataka government has ordered students to stick to the official uniform till the issue is heard by the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, state education minister BC Nagesh said that the students who insist on hijab-wearing will not be allowed into the government educational institutions. Then, he asked some students protesting on the street outside the college to sit in a separate room but they were not imparted lessons.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who is currently in New Delhi, said all the students must follow the state government order issued regarding uniforms. The students must not make any attempt to disturb peace, he added.
"The court order is coming tomorrow (Tuesday). The state government will take a decision on the issue once the order comes. As the case is before the court I don't want to speak on it," he said.