The Indian state, Karnataka, banned religious clothes in government schools and colleges on Saturday amid a controversy over the hijab and saffron scarves.

The situation escalated when a group of Hindu students marched wearing saffron scarves and chanted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ while going to college, which made the state government ban such clothing.

Another group of Hindu female students wearing saffron scarves marched in the market while chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ on their way to college.


The government order stated, “Invoking 133 (2) of the Karnataka Education Act-1983, which says a uniform style of clothes has to be worn compulsorily. The private school administration can choose a uniform of their choice.”

The dress code has to be followed by every student given by the educational institutes’ authorities.

The order also included, “In the event of the administrative committee not selecting a uniform, clothes which disturb equality, integrity and public law and order should not be worn.”

The tension arose last month when a section of the Hindu right-wing group appeared wearing saffron scarves and threatened their Muslim female class fellows not to wear the hijab during classes, which made state government college in Chikkamagaluru district, Karnataka, ban the hijab and saffron scarves over fears of rising tension.

On February 3, the principal of the government college in Kundapura closed the gate for students wearing hijab. This incident happened after some Hindu students in saffron scarves were stopped at the gate as well. They were raising slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram’.

While a group of Dalit students came in support of hijab-clad students at another government college, IDSG in Karnataka.