For the third day in a row, students of Sri Ramakunjeshwara College in Dakshina Kannada district, 360 km from Bangalore, boycotted classes to protest the management’s decision not to allow students from the Muslim community to wear ‘hijab’ in class. Muslim boys and girls constitute 40% of the 250 students in the degree college. Trouble began when two B.Com students submitted a memorandum to college principal Vasanth Rao seeking permission to wear headscarves in the classroom.
When he refused, they started boycotting classes. Later the protesting students were prevented from entering the campus by police. Members of the college management, however, refused to relax uniform guidelines. Principal Vasanth Rao said, “Never in the past had the college, launched in 2008, faced such problems. I reminded parents that they had signed on the dotted line during admission.” A first year student, who did not want to be named, said, “The College management is trying to snatch our fundamental rights and we are going to oppose it. Our parents did sign on the circulars they issued, but many of our parents are uneducated and don’t understand what is written there.”