Lifting ban on hijab: Govt only contemplating, says Karnataka CM

Decision will be taken after discussions, says Siddaramaiah

siddaramaiah-cm Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday clarified that the administration was only contemplating lifting the ban on wearing hijab in educational institutions in the state and a decision will be taken after holding discussions at the government level. 

Addressing reporters here, he said, "We haven't done it (revoking Hijab ban) yet. Someone asked me a question (on lifting Hijab ban). I replied that the government is considering revoking it. Asked whether it will be done in this academic year, the CM said it will be done after discussing at the government level. 

The clarification comes a day after he said that there was no restriction on wearing the religious head scarf in educational institutions and observed that choice of dress and food is personal. 

The Congress government has come under sharp criticism from the opposition BJP over the announcement on hijab.  The saffron party stated that the government's move raised concerns about the "secular nature" of educational spaces. 

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, BJP Karnataka chief B Y Vijayendra accused Siddaramaiah of 'vitiating' the academic atmosphere. Charging the Congress with indulging in 'appeasement politics' ahead of Lok Sabha elections, Vijayendra claimed, "even after so many years of independence, the literacy and employment rate among minorities is still 50 per cent. 

Congress never tried to elevate the condition of minorities." "Congress believes in the divide and rule policy which the British rulers had adopted. It amounts to carrying forward the British legacy," he said.  

Earlier, in a post on 'X', Vijayendra said the state government 'divided' young minds along religious lines. "CM Siddaramaiah's decision to withdraw the Hijab ban in educational institutions raises concerns about the secular nature of our educational spaces," the Shikaripura MLA said. 

"By allowing religious attire in educational institutions Siddaramaiah government is dividing young minds along religious lines, potentially hindering the inclusive learning environment."  

The BJP state chief stressed that it was crucial to prioritise education over divisive practices and foster an environment where students can focus on academics without the influence of religious practices.   In 2022, the previous BJP government banned wearing of hijab in educational institutions in Karnataka.


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