French football star and Manchester United midfielder, Paul Pogba, also jumped into the Karnataka hijab controversy by sharing a 57-second-long video clip of protests featuring a face-off between burqa-clad girls and saffron-scarved boys in his recent Instagram story along with the caption, “Hindutva mobs continue to harass Muslim girls wearing hijab to college in India”. Pogba is the second prominent International figure to speak on the Karnataka hijab row after human rights activist Malala Yousufzai.
The 28-year-old footballer shared the clip, originally posted from an account named ‘_.islamismydeen._’, on his Instagram story and captioned it: “Hindutva mobs continue to harass Muslim girls wearing hijab to college in India.”
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai had earlier reacted to the hijab controversy in Karnataka, saying “refusing to let girls go to school in their hijabs is horrifying” and “leaders must stop the marginalisation of Muslim women”.
Malala made the remarks while sharing a news report on the hijab row where several Muslim students across various government colleges in Karnataka were banned from entering college premises wearing hijab.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi-led bench, comprising Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi, on Thursday heard petitions by Muslim students against restrictions on wearing hijab. The bench decided to hear the matter again on Monday, February 14, and asked students not to wear any religious garments till the matter is pending with the court.
Colleges in Karnataka can reopen but students cannot be allowed to wear any piece of clothing that is religious till the matter is pending, Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi said.
The international focus on the Karnataka hijab row has now given rise to speculation of an elaborate ‘toolkit’ in the making.