Civil rights body says hijab ban violated the fundamental rights of Muslim women
One year since the Hindu supremacist BJP-ruled Karnataka state imposed a ban on hijab in educational institutions, a renowned civil rights body has released a 166-page report documenting the devastating effect of the ban on Muslim students, urging the government to immediately redress the matter.
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties’ (PUCL) report, titled “Closing the Gates to Education: Violations of Rights of Muslim Women Students in Karnataka’s Educational Institutions,” documents the testimonies of Muslim women students who experienced harassment, humiliation, and isolation when the ban was imposed.
“The Karnataka Government has a constitutional responsibility to respond to the continuing violations of the fundamental rights of young Muslim women,” they said.
According to the report, Muslim women students across Karnataka state continue to struggle to pursue their education and face grave consequences such as psychological distress and isolation. As visibly Muslim women, these students have also borne the brunt of a climate of hate, hostility, and misinformation.
The report also drew attention to how Hindu supremacist groups carried out a vilification campaign against hijab-wearing students, and how the inaction of the government and the police gave implicit encouragement to these extremist forces.
“There is an urgent need for the matter to be taken up expeditiously as Muslim
women students continue to be denied their constitutional right to education, dignity, and privacy,” the report read.
103 ex-bureaucrats seek action against BJP leader who called for beheading Muslims
Over 100 retired lawmakers and civil servants have sought legal action against BJP leader Pragya Singh Thakur, a Hindu supremacist and terrorism accused who recently called on Hindus to keep “sharp” weapons at home to “cut [off] the enemy’s head,” blatantly referring to Muslims.
“By her incendiary hate speech and her repeated acts of propagating hate, she has forfeited the ethical right to be a Member of Parliament,” the bureaucrats said in a statement.
Thakur is one of the prime accused in a terrorist bomb attack in 2008, during which six persons were killed and 100 injured near a mosque in Malegaon city. She was voted into office despite illegally using anti-Muslim hate speech to gain Hindu votes.
“It is also possible that she was sending out a warning against Christians and other non-Hindu communities as well,” the statement read. “Though Pragya Thakur appears to have cleverly chosen her words to avoid criminal charges being made against her, the disguise is only a thin one. She is obviously fomenting hate against non-Hindu communities and advocating violence against them.”
The statement also slammed Indian society for becoming “inured to hate speech against minorities,” adding that “a daily dose of venom is spewed on social media and other platforms against non-Hindu communities, especially Muslims.”
It was signed by 103 retired bureaucrats, including Former Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, former Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, former Indian Administrative Services officers Harsh Mander, Julio Ribeiro, and Aruna Roy.
Supreme Court dismisses plea challenging implementation of anti-minority common law
In yet another blow to minority rights, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea challenging the implementation of the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), an invasive law that would force all minority communities to abandon religious laws for personal matters – such as marriage, divorce, and inheritance.
Minorities would then be forced to follow one common law regardless of their religious beliefs, making the UCC a popular demand among Hindu supremacists.
Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled Gujarat and Uttarakhand states have started the formation of committees to implement the UCC.
The plea in the Supreme Court challenged the states’ moves as going against the Indian Constitution’s protection of religious freedom. Despite this clear attempt to infringe on the private lives of minorities, the Court refused to block the laws, claiming that states have the executive power to implement the UCC.
Professors flaunt extremist Hindu group’s uniform on university campus
In an openly hateful move, professors from the Central University of BJP-ruled Karnataka state flaunted a photo of themselves wearing the uniform of the notorious Hindu supremacist paramilitary group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), whose members have been responsible for countless mob lynchings, massacres, and other anti-minority hate crimes throughout India.
The photo of the three professors wearing RSS uniforms and holding rods as weapons has gone viral on social media, with online activists and university staff alike condemning the blatant show of support for the violent group.
The photo was taken during an event organized by the RSS on the university campus.
Responding to the outrage, the university administration criticized the professors, stating that teachers “must confine themselves to imparting knowledge.” However, no further disciplinary action was taken against the professors.