"Invoking 133 (2) of the Karnataka Education Act-1983, which says a uniform style of clothes has to be worn compulsorily,” a government order said.

Students from Udupi college addressing mediapersonsFile photo
news Hijab row Sunday, February 06, 2022 - 16:01
Written by  Inputs PTI

With the hijab controversy raging in Karnataka, the state government on Saturday, February 5, ordered banning wearing clothes which disturb equality, integrity and public order in schools and colleges. "Invoking 133 (2) of the Karnataka Education Act-1983, which says a uniform style of clothes has to be worn compulsorily. The private school administration can choose a uniform of their choice," the government order said.

It said the students have to wear the dress chosen by the College Development Committee or the appellate committee of the administrative board of the pre-university colleges, which come under the pre-university education department. "In the event of administrative committee not selecting a uniform, clothes which disturb equality, integrity and public law and order should not be worn," the order said.

The government order noted that the KEA-1983 had explained that all students should wear a common uniform so that they should belong to a common family and behave in a manner that there is no discrimination. The order also said that the second pre-university or the 12th standard is crucial for the students in their life.

A common programme has been chalked out for all the schools and colleges in the state for the benefit of students, the order said. "However, the education department has noticed that in some education institutions, the boys and girls have started behaving according to their religion, which hurts the equality and unity," it added.

Initially the controversy was restricted to Udupi and Chikkamagaluru in the beginning of January. In protest, the Hindu students started attending classes wearing saffron scarves around their neck. 

With the issue snowballing into a major controversy and the matter coming up before the High Court, Chief Minister Bommai on Friday held a meeting with Law and Education departments, and the government has asked educational institutions to follow existing uniform related rules, until the Court comes out with an order in this regard, next week.

The Karnataka High Court on February 8 will hear the petitions filed by five girls studying in a Government Pre-university College in Udupi, questioning hijab restriction in college.

Read: Karnataka's hijab row: A fragile regime's latest assault on the right to choice

Read: 'It's as if our dreams don't matter': Students barred for wearing hijab speak