Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday that people of all religions should adhere to dress codes set by schools, in the context of the ban on hijabs in educational institutions in Karnataka, News18 reported.
Shah said that it had to be decided if the country’s functioning will be guided by the Constitution or by whims.
“My personal belief only remains until the court makes a decision,” Shah said in an interview to the channel. “And once the court makes a decision, then I should accept it, and everyone should accept it. But, I still personally believe that every student should function according to the dress code and uniform mandated by the school.”
The home minister also responded to a question on the alleged involvement of the Campus Front of India, the student wing of Islamic group Popular Front of India, in the protests seeking the right to wear hijabs in schools and colleges. “These people may have their active involvement, but I’ll just say that their intentions will not come to fruition,” Shah said. “The people of India will accept the court’s judgement once it comes.”
The home minister was referring to the ongoing case in the Karnataka High Court, in which students of the Government Women’s Pre-University College in Udupi have sought permission to wear hijab to educational institutions. The students have been protesting since last month after they were not allowed to attend classes for being dressed in hijab. Similar protests have also taken place across the state.
On February 5, the Karnataka government had passed an order banning clothes that “disturb equality, integrity and public order”. On February 10, a three-judge bench had barred the students in Karnataka from wearing “religious clothes” in schools and colleges until further orders.
Earlier this month, Hindu students and mobs of men protested against Muslim women wearing hijabs to educational institutes. At some colleges, Muslim students were heckled, while in another case some men climbed up a flagpole to plant a saffron flag and broke into classrooms.
‘UP election not about Muslims or Hindus’
Meanwhile, Shah also said in the interview to News18 that he did not believe the ongoing Uttar Pradesh Assembly election would be about Muslims, Yadavs or Hindus.
The home minister was commenting on Chief Minister Adityanath’s recent remark that the Uttar Pradesh elections were an “80 versus 20 battle”.
Shah told the channel that Adityanath “may have spoken about vote percentages but not about Muslims vs Hindus”.
Several Opposition parties have alleged that Adityanath had made the remark to create religious divide. The figures of 80% and 20% are roughly those of the Hindu and Muslim population in Uttar Pradesh.