Karnataka:  Karnataka govt may withdraw circular banning hijab, warns of RSS ban | India News –

Karnataka: Karnataka govt may withdraw circular banning hijab, warns of RSS ban | India News –

BENGALURU: The Congress government in Karnataka is seriously considering withdrawing the primary and secondary education department’s circular prohibiting hijabs in schools and pre-university colleges in the state.
Senior state minister Priyank Kharge also said that his government would ban outfits like the Bajrang Dal if peace in the state was disturbed. “We have promised in our manifesto to turn Karnataka into a paradise. If peace is disturbed, we won’t consider if it is Bajrang Dal or any other Sangh Parivar outfit,” he said.


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Asked specifically about the RSS, he said, “If anyone breaks the law, they will be treated as per the law of the land, even if it means a ban.” Some elements have been roaming freely in society without fear of the law or police for the past four years, he said. “If the BJP leadership finds it unacceptable, they can go to Pakistan,” Priyank added. “We will review the hijab order and the revision of textbooks, besides all legislation, including the anti-cow slaughter and anti-conversion laws, passed by the previous BJP government. If we find any of these laws contentious, communal or going against the social fabric or image of the state, we will consider repealing them,’’ said Priyank.
The hijab row had erupted after six students at the Government Pre-University College for Girls, Udupi, who were not allowed to enter their classrooms wearing the hijab, began a protest in December 2021. The protests spread across the state, vitiating educational campuses in coastal and Malnad districts.
The previous BJP government had issued a circular prohibiting hijabs in schools and pre-university colleges in the state. The matter reached the Karnataka HC, which upheld the decision of the state government. The issue was later taken up in the Supreme Court where a two-judge bench pronounced a split verdict. The Supreme Court then said it would consider setting up a three-judge bench to adjudicate the matter.
“Our government stands firm on reviewing legislation that is unconstitutional, violates the rights of an individual, and affects the image of the state, investment and employment. We want to build an economically and socially equal Karnataka. As many as 18,000 minority students have been out of school since the hijab circular came into effect. We want to ensure they return to the mainstream and continue their education,’’ said Priyank, son of AICC chief Mallikarjun Kharge.

The previous BJP government had passed the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act, 2020, which laid out stringent punishments for violations and provided for powers to search and seize premises; and the Anti-Conversion Act, 2022, which said: “No person shall convert or attempt to convert either directly or otherwise any other person from one religion to another by use of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement, or by any fraudulent means or by marriage, nor shall any person abet or conspire for conversions.”
Congress insiders claimed the party was planning to withdraw the circular on the hijab and repeal the anti-cow slaughter and anti-conversion laws brought by the previous BJP government.
While campaigning for the assembly polls, Congress had stated that the ban on the hijab and all laws made on a communal basis by the previous BJP government would be withdrawn once the party forms government in the state.
While some senior party functionaries are in favour of a ban on Bajrang Dal, as promised in the manifesto, several have taken objection in view of the fact that Lok Sabha polls are not far off and the party does not want to play into the hands of BJP.

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