Javed Akhtar expresses his views on the ongoing Karnataka Hijab-row

written by Ritika Nath | February 10, 2022

On Thursday, veteran poet, lyricist, and screenwriter Javed Akhtar voiced his displeasure with the recent events in Karnataka.

In Karnataka, a restriction on wearing hijab in schools and universities has sparked widespread outrage and protests. The Karnataka government has invoked Section 133(2) of the Karnataka Education Act-1983, which mandates uniform dress for all pupils.

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A burqa-clad student was heckled by protesters shouting "Jai Shri Ram" on the campus of a college in Karnataka earlier this week. As hundreds of students chased Muskan Khan, shouting 'Jai Shri Ram,' the girl started saying 'Allah-hu-Akbar' in response.

Reacting to the ongoing hijab controversy Javed Akhtar wrote, "I have never been in favor of Hijab or Burqa. I still stand by that but at the same time, I have nothing but deep contempt for these mobs of hooligans who are trying to intimidate a small group of girls, and that too unsuccessfully. Is this their idea of “MANLINESS”. What a pity."

Protesters had already been chastised by Kamal Haasan, Richa Chadha, Onir, and Aly Goni.

Last month, a few students from Udupi Government Pre-University College were refused approval to attend classes because they were wearing hijab. According to college officials, students who previously did not wear hijab began to do so.

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Later, the students held a sit-in, refusing to attend class unless they wore hijab. Following a face-off between Hijab-wearing girls and saffron-clad boys in the state's educational institutions, violent moments have arisen. The matter led to a debate, which spread to other districts. In the current Hijab Row, protests have taken place in Delhi, Kolkata, and Maharashtra.

Last week, the Karnataka government issued an order mandating students in schools and pre-university colleges across the state to wear uniforms set by the government or administration of private institutions.

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