Karnataka: Pro-Hindu activists up in arms over students performing Azaan
In Karnataka's Udupi, pro-Hindu activists staged a protest against a private school authority after the education institution allegedly made its students perform the 'Azaan' (prayer). According to an India Today report on Wednesday, the pro-Hindu activists reportedly confronted the authorities of the private school and asked them for an apology as well.
Why does this story matter?
- Educational institutions in Karnataka have been facing communal tensions since the start of the year amid the hijab row in the state.
- The issue became a national debate as many argued that the constraint aims at putting a uniform dress code at educational institutions.
- People who opposed the ban claimed that Muslims were being singled out as hijab is a fundamental religious practice.
Here's how it all escalated
The Mother Teresa memorial school in Udupi had put together its annual sports day celebrations, where welcome songs were performed by students. The students of this educational institution performed songs from all three religions during their performance. However, pro-Hindu activists opposed the students staging a performance of the Azaan, and the school administration later apologized as they didn't want it to become an issue.
Watch: Visuals from Mother Teresa memorial school's annual function
Hindutva group members in #Karnataka's #Udupi protested against the authorities of a private school after the institution’s students staged a performance of the “#Azan” (#Muslim call to prayer) song. #Hindutva group members confronted school authorities demanded an apology. pic.twitter.com/fhvJSGty4L— Hate Detector 🔍 (@HateDetectors) November 16, 2022
Karnataka hijab row: How it started
In December 2021, six girl students of the government-run PU College in Udupi were allegedly denied admission to classes because they wore a hijab. Soon, the hijab dispute extended to other places in Karnataka, and the issue was referred to high court in February. On October 13, the Supreme Court gave a split verdict on the matter and referred it to a three-judge bench.
What is the Azaan row?
In May, the Karnataka government released directives on the use of loudspeakers in the state and also directed users to remove them if the "designated authority" didn't authorize them. The development came after many Hindu groups, mainly Hindu Janajagruthi Samithi, Bajrang Dal, and Sriram Sena had organized "Bhajan-Keertan" from pre-dawn to counter Azaan from mosques.