A group of Aligarh Muslim University students has complained to the district administration after some right-wing leaders asked a local college in Aligarh to ban burqas and skull caps on the campus. In a memorandum submitted to the proctor of Dharam Samaj College, Amit Goswami, who claims to be associated with the Hindu Jagran Manch, warned that if the college authorities failed to take steps in this regard, they would launch a drive among students for wearing saffron outfits while attending classes.
Salman Imtiaz, president of the AMU Students’ Union, whose tenure has just expired, said that the union took note of the developments and submitted a memorandum to the Senior Superintendent of Police on Thursday. “It is not about dress code, the Hindutva forces don’t want to see Muslim girls and boys in institutions of higher education,” he said. The memorandum said that such elements were a “threat” to “constitutional values” of freedom to education and freedom to the dress code for Indian minorities.
Demanding the arrest of such elements, the memorandum further said that the threat of launching a drive to saffronise the institution was “political” in nature. “These elements are defaming Hinduism,” Mr. Imtiaz said. “Even if there is a dress code, there are established procedures to communicate it to students of different religious groups,” he added.
Hem Prakash, principal of Dharam Samaj College, told The Hindu, “It is the work of some reactionary forces to get some political mileage. We have a dress code in place. Students can come to college in burqa, skull caps or saffron robes for that matter. But they have to change into college uniform while attending the classes.During admission season, there is some leniency, after that, all students follow the code.”