Hindutva ‘unveiled’ as RSS mob heckles hijab-clad Muslim girl in India’s Karnataka state. The stand-off in Karnataka state has galvanised fears among the minority community about what they say is increasing persecution under the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Authorities in southern India ordered schools to shut on Tuesday as protests intensified over a ban on hijab that has outraged Muslim students.
Fresh demonstrations on Tuesday saw officers fire tear gas to disperse a crowd at one government-run campus, while a heavy police presence was seen at schools in nearby towns. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai appealed for calm after announcing all high schools in the state would be closed for three days.“I appeal to all the students, teachers and management of schools and colleges . to maintain peace and harmony,” he said. Students at a government-run high school were told not to wear hijabs last month, an edict that soon spread to other educational institutions in the state. Campuses have seen escalating confrontations between Muslim students condemning the ban and Hindu pupils that say their classmates have disrupted their education.
“All of a sudden they are saying you are not supposed to wear hijab . why did they start now?” asked Ayesha, a teenage student at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College in the coastal city of Udupi. Ayesha said a teacher had turned her away from her chemistry exam for wearing the garment.“We are not against any religion. We are not protesting against anyone.
A hijab-clad student was heckled and jeered at by a mob of Hindutva supporters in India’s Karnataka state on Tuesday while she retaliated by shouting back “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).
Muskan Khan parked her scooter in the parking of her college in Mandya and was subsequently beset by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) mob which shouted at her and tried to surround her. Undaunted, she continued walking towards her college building in footage that soon went viral on social media.
“Since I started studying [here], I’ve always worn the burqa and hijab. When I entered class, I removed the burqa … [the] principal has said nothing, outsiders started this,” she told NDTV
The harassment of Muskan drew the ire of some Bollywood celebrities, media personalities, intellectuals and politicians, who condemned the Modi government for taking the country to that low. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said depriving Muslim girls of education was a “grave violation” of fundamental human rights.
“World must realise this is part of Indian state plan of ghettoisation of Muslims,” he tweeted.
Nobel laureate and activist Malala Yousafzai also condemned the incident, saying: “Refusing to let girls go to school in their hijabs is horrifying.”
She called for Indian authorities to stop the marginalisation of Muslim women.