20 Feb 2024

Rajasthan: After Hijab Controversy in Jaipur, Muslim Girl Students Denied Entry for Wearing Hijab at Jodhpur School, Parents Protest

In a situation reminiscent of the 2022 Karnataka incident, Muslim girl students in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, were turned away from a government high school for wearing hijab, with the school authorities citing a dress code. Outraged parents confronted the administration, alleging misbehavior by teachers towards the girls. The incident has sparked a debate over religious attire and dress code enforcement in schools.

Allegations of Misbehavior by Teachers

Following the denial of entry, parents confronted the school administration, accusing teachers of inappropriate behavior towards the girl students. One parent claimed that a girl was derogatorily referred to as 'chambal ka daku.' Despite these allegations, the school principal maintained that the refusal was based on a violation of the dress code.

Parents Challenge Dress Code Explanation

Parents questioned the school principal, asserting that their children were not wearing hijab but merely covering their heads with a dupatta and wearing face masks. They demanded clarification on any government guidelines prohibiting the use of masks. A video capturing the parents' confrontation with the school principal has gone viral, adding fuel to the controversy.

“Why did you not allow our children to enter school. They did not wear any hijab and just covered their head with a dupatta and wore a face mask. Tell us any government guideline which says you can’t wear a mask,” a parent was seen questioning the school principal.

 Previous Hijab Controversy in Jaipur

Earlier, a BJP MLA from Rajasthan’s Hawa Mahal, Balmukund Acharya, had objected to girls wearing the hijab at a government school in Jaipur, prompting Cabinet minister Kirodi Lal Meena to say he will talk to Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma about enforcing a ban on the head covering in all government and private schools in the state.

As part of Republic Day celebrations at the school on January 27, Acharya had visited the Government Girls Secondary School in Jaipur’s Gangapol locality. In a video that surfaced afterwards, he can be seen pulling up a school administrator over some students wearing the hijab. In another video, he is seen asking school authorities to stop students from wearing the hijab in school, which has a mix of Hindu and Muslim children.

In another video, he is seen on stage, leading the students in chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Saraswati Mata Ki Jai”. He is also seen walking through the school and leading students in chanting “Jai Shri Ram”.

Later, Muslim students gheraoed the Subhash Chowk police station, demanding that the MLA stop “vitiating the atmosphere in schools” and apologise for his actions.

Karnataka's Similar Hijab Row

This incident echoes a significant hijab controversy during the BJP regime in Karnataka, where many schools and colleges barred Muslim girl students from wearing hijab, leading to a political dispute between BJP and Congress. The issue subsided after a change of leadership in Karnataka, with the BJP losing power.

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