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Apprehensions over failure of multiculturalism in coastal Karnataka, has surfaced once again, as a Christian institute in Mangalore has issued a diktat to students aspiring admission, not to wear ‘Burqa’ in the classroom or examination hall. A 130-year old reputed minority institution St. Aloysius College at Mangalore city of coastal Karnataka, in its prospectus has introduced a new clause banning women students from wearing the ‘burqa’ in classrooms. The clause of general regulations in prospectus reads, “Students must be neatly dressed in accordance with the rule of approved etiquette. Girls are not expected to wear burqa in the classrooms and in the examination halls. The decision of the principal in this regard is to be accepted.” The new decree from a reputed and secular institution like St. Aloysius has raised many questions among the people who believe in multiculturalism and is set to trigger a debate on gender discrimination, freedom and sectarian lines.
According to Mohammed Tufail, State President of Campus Front of India, Karnataka, “Management should have kept the Constitution of India in view before framing such a rule. While the Constitution itself guarantees freedom to practise religion, this kind of developments looks malicious. While there is no such regulation for nuns in the same college, why the Muslim community is being targeted?”