India: Female students banned from wearing Burqa in Karnataka college

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Female students studying at St Aloysius College, an undergraduate college in Mangalore in coastal Kamataka, are now banned from wearing the Burqa or the hijab, a head covering worn by some Muslim women, NDTV reported on Friday.

The decision of the principal strictly applies in classrooms and in examination halls, a leaflet printed by the college explained. AM Narahari, registrar of the college told NDTV "The move is to bring uniformity in the classroom [...] Girls will not be allowed to enter classrooms and examination halls with the burqa. It is mandatory for the student to show her face."

This new measure implemented by the St Aloysius College divided public opinion. Mohammed Masood, President, Muslim Community, Dakshin Kannada said the move illustrated "the narrow-mindedness of the institution. Many girls have avoided going to college because they have been uncomfortable taking their hijab off."

Others have expressed their satisfaction regarding the decision. Franklin, Principal of St Johns Pre University in Bangalore says that "For reasons of uniformity and malpractice during exams, the burqa inside a classroom should be avoided. One cannot mix faith and education which involved discipline".

Within students, the new dress code did not achieve unanimity "We should be allowed to wear what we like and not in college” said a female student of Commerce in Bangalore, NDTV quoted.

Mangalore city has close to 30 per cent Muslim population

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