Browncast : Karnataka hijab issue


Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

Karnataka hijab issue

This discussion has a lot of digressions and tangential issues but it is a discussion worth having. Leaving aside the Hijab controversy, how India is represented (or more misrepresented) in global media (arguably of both sides) is something Indians have to confront. Maybe that’s a separate podcast why India and Hindutva which is certainly moderate when compared to polities of the subcontinent get such a bad rep. I would lay the blame more on the Indian origin interlocuters than any foreign design (though that bias is undeniable).

I would even go on to add that the Western world, in general, hasn’t treated most non-Western countries as sovereign nation-states. I guess if sovereignty is treated as sacrosanct by people of Indian origin, inspite of personal biases some semblance of balance would be maintained in the “India” discourse

Published by


Skeptic | Aspiring writer | Wildlife enthusiast

35 thoughts on “Browncast : Karnataka hijab issue”

  1. ‘You a not getting the point Shahda!’
    Omar she doesn’t want to get it. Talking about bad faith, she is good example.
    She has made up her mind from start of discussion and uses strawman arguments, look other way when evidence doesn’t suit her argument. No amount of proof will change her opinion. She actually says its different for France because it can consider someone born in france and holding french passport to be ‘migrant’ and that its ok for them to have those opinion on hijab because it comes from migrants. Seriously?! What happened to all citizens are equal !
    She is woke leftist tending towards soft islamism giving cover fire to worst elements in Islamic society coming about with all whataboutism but not wanting to see the other side of argument.

    1. I am 10 mins in and I can’t go ahead with the podcast with her annoying voice, sounds like a early 20s British girl with a knee jerk opinions. I can’t see how can spend any more time listening to this.

      To understand whats going on with this issue one needs to be grounds with the ethos and tradition of that area.

  2. I am perplexed that petitioner’s advocate Kamat is arguing (yt video of full hearing ) that girls want to just wear a head scarf which conforms with rest of the uniform. In all the videos and picture posted above, the girls are wearing full burqa (face + body covering, almost a tent). Wondering if it was a tongue in cheek comment by advocate when what he actually meant was that burqa was the uniform 🙂

  3. Such dismissiveness with no substance in your argument.

    Muslims students have every right to wear Hijab. Every right to protest and every right to chose how they practise their faith. India is a secular state. Not a Hindu state are per BJP utopia rhetoric.

    Context is very important. Such as the hostile environment for Muslims by Hindu Nationalist.

    Does this itself not demonstrate that despite hijab being dress code for some Muslims, it’s still not understood, respected or tolerated. Does this not highlight the polarisation exploited by Hindu nationalism. The fact Muslims are now marginalised highlights not only how some feel their identity is being questioned but that the fragility and sensitivities by some within the Hindu community is also deeply troubling

    In comparison you have the likes of Modi & Yogi prancing around in their religious attire! Move along nothing to see!

    1. Shahada, the issue is not about Indian society at large (where Muslim women and everyone else for that matter can wear whatever they want) but about a school and its right to have its own rules. The girls who wish to wear a burka to school are free to move to a different school which allows it. Also, the school in question has always allowed a headscarf, the entire debate is about being allowed to wear a full body and face covering. As a Hindu woman I went through school in India without being allowed to wear a bindi, bangles, or any form of religious attire. This is not about singling out Muslim women, but about these Muslim women insisting on singling themselves out for preferential treatment. In my opinion the school is ENTIRELY justified in making their own rules. I have the choice to smoke, but not in a place that doesn’t allow smoking.

  4. I have studied in Convent school for 5 years and in Sikh school for 4 years. In convent school most of students were Hindus and sikhs. We adhered to dress code, along with reciting prayers of Jesus and so on every morning. same way in sikh school we used to do sikh prayers daily slong while studying subject called sikh history. None of Hindus have objected to anything of rules laid down by sikh school , same for convent. I don’t understand why all this ruckus is done by only one community. Hijab is not essential part of Islam as many scholars have said it. i feel they are supported by islamists organizations like PFI, AIMIM and so on.

  5. In this episode Love Jihad was mentioned. Here is my take on it. India allows polygamy only for muslims. Now, statistically speaking, even if only 1 in 20 has more than one wife, it disproportionately reduces the pool of available mates for muslim men when compared to other communites. Hence they will look outside their own community. Remove the right to ploygamy for muslims and the problem will disappear.

    I got this insight from a study which said polygamous societies are more prone to violence. Tradionally tribal warfare killed off the excess men and balance was restored. In modern times, polygamy leads to an increase of unattached men unable to settle down.

    India needs a Uniform Civil Code urgently.

  6. Some strong tactical approaches used by the State Administration to nip this in the bud. They have adopted a fine judicial strategy in light of education being in the Concurrent List. Sibal’s antics in the SC are for political posturing.

    If Karnataka becomes the first state to go the French way, how many other states will follow suit? Will the Gangetic Hindus muster any spine to do something like this? What implications for Centre-State relations?

    Somebody on Twitter pointed out rightly that there was never any consensual understanding of secularism between the State and its citizens.

    What instead we got was a top-down implementation of the Gangetic Hindu survival mechanism (Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb) on the rest of India.

  7. If you watch the video the whole thing looks staged. Why now this is happening? Did they just start wearing burqa recently? What were they wearing before? School uniforms and Indian clothing in general are modest and conservative anyway so they are naturally compatible with traditional Islamic codes of dress, no need to add burqa on top. A hijab as in scarf/dupatta to cover hair has always been acceptable in India and even Hindu and Sikh women sometimes cover their hair so I doubt any school would have issue with that. This isn’t about hijab but about burqa. And since it’s just happening now it must mean these students just recently started wearing burqa. Question is why?

  8. Hijab is a secondary issue, the primary issue is Muslim girls attending a co-Ed school. Even with wearing fully covered Burka, women are not allowed to do namaj in a mosque, so how the Muslims girls are allowed to attend a co-Ed school and sit by the side of the boys and talk to them. If you have no objections to that then objecting to wearing hijab is just frivolous and has no substance.

  9. I found the entire podcast funny because what they are arguing in the Karnataka HC is different. The Arguments put forth in the court is not at all related to wearing a “hijab”. The argument made by the petitioners is that Article 25 of the constitution ( freedom to profess practice and propagate religion) is being denied in the “government funded and administered” college. The idea that the school/college/institution is a government owned ,the common minimum dresscode is the prerequisite under Article 28(1).
    Second, the petitioners are arguing in the domain of essentiality that hijab (includes niqab and burqa too) as an essential islamic practice. Suppose the court accepts it that it is essential you are looking at the force of law mandating hijab niqab burqa on the Indian muslim women across the country (Rona Ayyub and Shirvani had to wear burqa and Niqaab then compulsorily) or else in the eyes of legal system they are all “non muslims”.
    Third, Shahda conveniently ignored that the petitioners brought the argument of “religious untouchability”. What she meant was Hindu funded private educational institution cannot reject a muslim (man/woman) and should be taken into the institution while his/her right to religion should remain intact(i.e, he/she should be allowed burqa skull cap etc) .
    Fourth, she conveniently didn’t mention that muslims in India have minority rights under which they have all the freedom to decide the dresscode, syllabus and even the teachers . There are minority institutions in India which mandates burqa/niqab for non minority students and the government cannot do damn because it’s their constitutional right. St Stephens in Delhi (Minority institution) doesn’t allow any religious symbols inside the campus.
    The entire debate boils down to this
    You have minority rights, use your minority rights to create colleges and institutions and wear burqa niqab there.
    You are not allowed to wear niqab burqa in government schools where uniforms are mandatory or in the private Hindu schools where the institutions have the right to dictate their terms of conditions on uniforms, syllabus. If you use legal and street power to capture non minority institutions just the way it’s been happening in Karnataka, mind you the government or the other side reserved the same rights if they see their rights getting trampled.

  10. I find it seriously hard to get into the minds of woke lefties like this Shahada lady.

    Suppose India is as fascist a country and as oppressive to Muslims as she seems to believe, based on the sources she reads. Then, isn’t insisting on Muslim girls’ rights to wear hijabs as compensation, despite it creating a double standard in law (Hindus not allowed similar religious exemptions) not an extremely trivial matter?

    It’d be like some left-winger in the UK or in America in, say, 1939 complaining about a group of Jewish kids in Germany not being allowed to wear yarmulkes in school.
    (Not that this is a fair comparison; of course, India is nothing like Nazi Germany. But I’m just trying to point out the incongruity of her thoughts and worldview.)

    1. The only reason you can afford to pretend India is not literally Nazi Germany is because you are a cis-het-upper class savarana male.

      That’s called privilege 👏🏻

    1. 💯 ; they will backtrack leaving both sides for worse – M smug and H hurt and communal mess
      Not every issue is core civilizational issue

      1. It’s like UCC. Open a pandora box u can’t close. But since it hurts the imaginary interests of Muslim, u wanna go thru with it.

    2. If you notice, Karnataka congress isn’t speaking on the issue at all. Except the National Pappu, there is no hue made by any party. JDS made some noise but but tracked. The political capital already went to the BJP and other parties don’t want to lose their vote banks.
      PS:- Udupi is the birthplace of Madhwa, founder of one of the four Vaishnava Sampradaya in India. You mess up there, you lose karnataka Andhra TN Maharashtra.

      1. madhwa angle is very tempting, but is far fetched.
        on a lighter note, the muslim girls getting into this debate, will one day release them from their hijabs. but they have become extremely vocal, and this will be an issue for their brothers, fathers and husbands in future.

  11. Interesting podcast. Good conversation.

    My views:
    1) The majority community (loose term in Indian context) is asking for parity; not preference for one group. Local school issue got engulfed in national politics.

    2) The Indian state is weak in imposing law and order regardless of which party is in power.

    3) Low trust between Hindus and Muslims is not a new phenomenon. The seeds of mistrust were sowed in partition, and there was no healing through truth and reconciliation after partition.

    4) The violence – not comments or threats – from the Muslim community against the state and other communities is real and present. This is overlooked because it goes against the media narrative. This issue is not limited to India though.


    “In echoes of debates in other cities, many Chinese voters were incensed when the school board introduced a lottery admission system for Lowell High School, the district’s most prestigious institution, abolishing requirements primarily based on grades and test scores. A judge last year ruled that the board had violated procedures in making the change.”

    Hell fucking yes

  13. . For context, there is NO BAR on Hindu vibhuti or sikh Kada in any school in Karnataka or elsewhere in India.

    . Hindu students don’t cut off the thread on wrists before entering any school

    .That’s the larger point with BP podcasts that they pretend to be having a discussion but start with stating ‘facts’ which have no basis .

    .Omar said something to the effect that he doesn’t read books or newspapers these days (persumably due to what he feels are biases in some well-known publications) but that should not be the reason to consciously or inadvertently indulge in disseminating misinformation

    1. How many schools have to seen yourself ? Ignorant statement

      My own schools (private schools) didn’t allow both kada or vibhuti or large tilaks.
      Basically anything which stands out too much.

      They allowed wrist threads and small tilaks/bindis.
      Didn’t allow bangles.

      This is true accross the board – lots of government schools would allow religious markers for Hindu girls, allow some for boys – not allow others.

      In other words allow the reasonable and not allow the “unreasonable,” in their eyes

      It is arbitrary and it’s not fair but it isn’t unfair only on hijab wearing girls

      1. Reply to “How many schools have to seen yourself…Ignorant statement”…

        Quite a few well known schools in Pune…Bishops,Rosary,Sanskriti…etc….Kada ,thread and vibhuti all allowed.

        Thread on wrist or kaleva as it is called in North India is omnipresent across colleagues in office ,school and college mates.

        Hence my disagreement with your comment that burqa or hijab is not targetted in particular but schools have such policies across .

        Muslim students have been racially segregated during the recent controversy by being made to sit seperately . This is obnoxious in itself and on top of it framing a debate with inaccurate facts is not a great thing to do.

        1. // Thread on wrist or kaleva as it is called in North India is omnipresent across colleagues in office ,school and college mates.

          Have you ever come across anyone wearing the full forehead vibhuti in any of these schools ? I have never seen it in 30 years – not sure if it would be allowed or not. Kada is regularly disallowed even for Sikhs (Something i am witness to myself) – also because boys use it in fights.
          Again it was never our claim that such symbols are banned “FAIRLY” – theyre banned arbitrarily depending on whims of authorities.
          EG: I have never seen female bindis being banned myself – but know it from first hand reporting that Christian schools in Pune wouldnt allow both bindis and Mehendi (something even Muslim girls wear i presume).
          Also i vaguely* remember a boy beaten for wearing some hindu symbol (may have been a Planet ring) – incidentally in a school which took place inside a temple premises in Satara.
          Such things are not unknown even in Kendriya Vidyalaya schools !
          This is not a blanket statement about all schools do this or do that. But there is a varying degree of forced secularization by Schools – some less some more. Similarly a blanket statement that few schools you happen to know allowed Kadas doesnt mean others did. There is a degree of arbitrariness at play which is not Fair.

          //Thread on wrist or kaleva as it is called in North India is omnipresent across colleagues in office ,school and college mates.//
          I never claimed these symbols are exclusively not allowed. Threads I have never come across being banned. Finger rings are often banned (ones given by specific gurus for religious purpose).

          //Racial segregation
          Is it “racial” segregation . As horrible it sounds why do you think it was followed in those particular schools in Karnataka ?

          Having said that I agree the set of events in Karnataka are unfortunate. Especially for colleges (other that Udupi) which allowed hijabs till last month suddenly enforcing HC orders – it is just nasty and petty IMO.
          Accommodating headscarves isn’t a big deal in school uniform – seems the authorities were put in a tough spot by the saffron scarves which they clearly wanted to ban.

          1. Have you ever come across anyone wearing the full forehead vibhuti in any of these schools ?

            I believe I did on occasion (through 80s and 90s), though my personal inclination used to be to rapidly wipe it off after I stepped out of my house (it had nothing to do with school rules but more about me not wanting to stand out.) FYI, I went to a private English medium school, though not one run by missionaries.

        2. Just to clarify, this entire issue is about the students right to wear a full face covering I e a burka not a headscarf. Therefore the correct analogy would be girls wearing ghoongats going to school, not a piece of thread on someone’s wrist.

  14. on a serious note , are the lawyers for hijab sound bit shaky?.they are seeking hijab atleast on fridays and during ramazan.!!

  15. islam culture war by bjp is too much bs. Kept falling for it time and again, And still keep falling for it. BJP has game Hindus like sheep. When in power you can get things down. I hate it when people talk bs but dont do much. Taking people for a ride.

Comments are closed.

Brown Pundits