The way Indian Media distorted hijab (burkha) issue in Mangalore

Bhadrapad Shuddha Trutiya/Chaturthi, Kaliyug Varsha 5111

The way Indian Media distorted hijab (burkha) issue in Mangalore

Sri Venkataramana Swamy College, Bantwal has been providing degree education to the students of this rural area over the last 41 years. Out of the thousands of students who have studied here, nearly 15% to 20% have beenfrom Muslim and Christian communities. Besides, the Principal of our sister institution, Sri Venkataramana Swamy Pre-University College, Bantwal, is Prof. K.P.Soofie, who is a Muslim and Ms. Sakeen Nasser, faculty in our college is the daughter in-law of famous writer Ms. Sara Aboobacker is a muslim & there are 23 muslim lady students. On the faculty of all the institutions run by the Sri Venkataramana Swamy Vidyavardhaka Sangha (R), Bantwal, there are Hindus, Jains, Muslims and Christians.  At present around 200 students belonging to Minority communities are pursuing their studies here.

Since the inception of the college we have not faced any untoward incidents at the college concerning the religion or caste of the students.  However, in the beginning of this academic year, a newly admitted student in  I B.Com, Ms. Aysha Asmin, started attending classes wearing a half-burkha ignoring the instructions given to her at the time of the admission. We allow the Muslim students to come in burkha to the college.  But they are expected to remove it while sitting inside the class room.  This has been the practice of the institution right from the beginning.
When Ms. Aysha Asmin refused to comply with the established practice, her father was informed of her non-compliance. But the father said that it was against his religion to allow the girl to come to the college without wearing burkha, and so he would take her back and admit her to some other institution.  Even the girl said that she would rather quit the college than stop wearing burkha. After this she stopped attending classes.

Again after 10 days (17-8-2009) she came back with the father to attend the classes with the burkha.  Once again we requested her not to wear burkha.  Immediately (within 2 minutes) after she and her father left the college, the media people entered the Principal chamber and took some information and gave a wide publicity of their own version of issue which was totally wrong. The student recorded the conversation between her and the Principal and other faculty members which was the cause of concern. Her intension of coming to the college was found to be doubtful.

The next day all the other media people joined hands and blown up the issue which was so small and now even it has become an international issue.

The most worrying matter is that she accused in the T.V. Channel interview that Mr.Bharth of III B.Com (President of the Student Union 2009-10) did harass her which she did not complained to the Principal.  Her motive and intention it seems was purely to create problems and students unrest in the campus.

I make it clear that the college has not suspended the said student from the college. She is welcome to attend the classes, if she is willing to obey the rules and regulations of the college.

I hereby appeal to the public not to drag religion into educational institutions. The college has been, is and will be secular.

Other Details :
1) She was informed of the college rules and regulations very clearly by a senior teacher before admissions.
2) She did not take permission to wear burkha inspite of clear instructions given to her.
3) She signed the declaration at the time of admissions that she will abide by the rules and regulations of the college.
4) When she was wearing burkha a senior muslim lady Lecturer explained her politely to agree with the traditions of the college.
5) When the students complained with the principal regarding this matter again and again Principal called her and another student Ms. Azramma and explained rules and regulations.
6) Where as Azramma heeded to our advice and removed burkha while attending the classes, Ms.Aysha did not respond to our advice and did not attend classes thereafter.
7) It was half burkha she was wearing and not the scarf as published by the media.

Source: The Great Hindu

News about Bantwal Hijab (Burkha) issue in Mangalore in wrong manner

Bantwal (Karnataka): An incident of a Muslim girl student being allegedly denied entry to the classroom of a prestigious college here, because she wore a veil over her head, has come to light on Monday August 17.

Ayesha Asmin, daughter of B Mohammed, a resident of Nehru Nagar near Panemangalur, was denied entry into her classroom in SVS College.  She was given a warning by the principal of the college on Thursday August 6 and has not attended any classes since then.  Ayesha was in tears when speaking to this reporter, at the prospect of losing one academic year. 

Ayesha said that she had completed her II PUC from Islamic Women’s School, Ira, and had joined SVS College recently.  Initially she used to wear a ‘burkha’ when attending her I B Com classes which commenced on July 11.  She switched to wearing ‘salwar kameez’ and wearing a scarf over her head on the advice of her college mates.

Ayesha alleged that she was sternly warned by college student leader Bharat to adhere to the dress code adopted by all other girl students in the institution. She claims that she ignored this and continued to wear the scarf which even brought her verbal abuses from other students on campus.

She accused college principal Sitaram Mayya of asking her to choose between study and religion.  Ayesha was also asked to bring her father to meet the principal. Allegedly, Mayya then told Mohammed and his daughter to follow the dress code without giving them an opportunity to speak. 

The college managing committee has also come out in support of the principal and upheld his decision to bar Ayesha’s entry if she comes to college wearing a scarf over her head.

“Had the college authorities informed of such restrictions, we could have sought admission in another college.  It is an injustice to pressurize one to follow general dress code after paying donation and college fees”, says Ayesha.

Meanwhile, Jalal, taluk president, Students Islamic Organization (SIO) said that SIO will take up the cause against the injustice done to a student from the minority community. He said that they would seek support from the Gulf Islamic Organization in this regard.

Anugraha Education Trust trustee Ibrahim Chendady opined that a complaint will be registered with the Women’s Commission and they would also garner support from University authorities, as well as various social welfare and voluntary organizations, to seek justice in the matter.

Mayya has said that in the 41 years of the college’s history, no student has attended classes wearing a scarf.  He defended his stance saying that if students of various religions follow their own dress code, it would create a furore on the campus.


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