16% of Muslim Students at Mangalore University Seek TC, Hijab Ban Is One of the Reasons

Over 16% of female Muslim students obtained their Transfer Certificate (TC) in the second, third, fourth and fifth semesters of government and aided colleges affiliated with Mangalore University in Karnataka, Deccan Herald reports. This follows the university’s decision to enforce the Karnataka High Court ordinance on hijab and not allow religious attire in classrooms, which is seen as one of the main reasons why Muslims take TC.

The Vice-Chancellor of Mangalore University (MU), Professor PS Yadapadithya, announced in May that TCs (transfer certificates) would be issued to female students who did not wish to attend classes without a hijab.

According to a Deccan Herald report, 145 female Muslim students out of a total of 900 who had been admitted to various government courses, MU aided and affiliated colleges in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts in 2020-21 and 2021- 22 had taken TC.

Some of them have enrolled in colleges where wearing the hijab is allowed. Other female students dropped out of college for a variety of reasons, including the inability to pay college fees.

However, according to RTI information, the 113 Muslim female students in Kodagu district are continuing their studies in their colleges. In Kodagu district, MU has 10 government, aided and affiliated colleges.

The percentage of Muslim female students seeking TC in public colleges (34%) is higher than in subsidized colleges (8%). Dr. P Dayanand Pai-P Satisha Pai Government First Grade College tops government colleges in Dakshina Kannada in which 35 out of 51 female Muslim students have taken their TC.

There are 39 government colleges and 36 aided colleges in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. Nine female students took their TC at Government First Grade College in Ajjarkad, the epicenter of the hijab controversy.

Twenty female students from Haleangadi Government First Grade College who took courses in the first, third and fourth semesters received TCs during the second, fourth and sixth semesters. When contacted, the college’s principal, Sridhar, said students had ignored his pleas to attend classes. He went on to say that they didn’t even bother to get their TCs back.

Prof. Yadpadithaya, MU VC said many Muslim female students have met him while seeking his help to gain admission into colleges with their suits. “As these issues cannot be resolved, I have asked them to contact Karnataka State Open University (KSOU),” the VC told DH.

“I had informed the students that education was more important than religion,” he said.

It can be recalled that on May 27, Vice-Chancellor P Subrahmanya Yadapadithaya assured to help Muslim students, who had submitted a memorandum allowing them to wear the hijab in classrooms, to obtain admission to other colleges.

“We learned that about 15 girls are firm about wearing the hijab in class. We are ready to counsel these girls and make them understand the Karnataka High Court order. If the counseling does not work, we will help them gain admission to educational institutions where hijab is allowed or where there are no uniforms,” the VC added.

Students launch protest at Mangaluru University College

Controversy erupted on Thursday May 26 after a group of Mangaluru University College students protested against college authorities, alleging that a few Muslim female students were attending classes in hijab in violation of the Karnataka High Court order. .

The protesting students claimed they were forced to wear university uniforms while the 44 Muslim students were allowed to wear the hijab at university. The students also alleged that some of them also wear the hijab in the classrooms.

They also denounced the college director and other relevant authorities for not enforcing uniform rules in the college premises. The students alleged that college authorities were under pressure from a local political leader.

Row of Hijab from Karnataka

The Karnataka Hijab dispute began in January this year at a pre-university college in Udupi where a group of 6 Muslim girls insisted that they be allowed to attend classes in their hijab.

Since uniforms had existed at said PU college since 1985, the school management refused to give in to their religious dictate. Subsequently, the girls refused to enter the classrooms and began to organize demonstrations on the premises of the college.

With the support of Islamist organizations such as PFI and Campus Front of India, the “hijab movement” spread to other schools and colleges in Karnataka. The hijab row witnessed the mobilization of Islamists and counter-protests by Hindu students, demanding the concept of uniformity in schools.

When the case reached the Karnataka High Court, it ruled that the hijab was not an essential practice of Islam and that the uniform was a reasonable restriction on the “right to religion”.

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