When the going gets tough, the tough get going. This was once again proved in Karnataka. A Hijab-wearing Muslim girl scored second rank in the PUC exam despite a ban on the headscarf in the state.
A student of St Aloysius PU College from Mangalore in Dakshina Karnataka, Ilham scored 597 out of 600.
“I am very excited. I checked my percentage which was 91.5%. I informed my relatives. After some time, I started getting calls from my cousins saying my name is coming in the news. At that moment I realized that I got a rank. Till then I was unaware,” she said.
Ilham said she still has not come to terms with the success. She said she wants to pursue a career in BSc in Clinical Psychology.
Ilham’s father, Mohammed Rafiq, used to work in the Gulf as an IT employee. Her mother Moizatul Kubra is a housewife.
Her success comes at a time when the hijab was banned in the state. A large number of Muslim students skipped the exam after they were asked to remove their hijab. Some removed the hijab before entering the exam hall.
Earlier in March, Karnataka High Court’s special bench dismissed petitions filed by students seeking direction for permission to wear hijab in classrooms. The court said, “Wearing of hijab was not an essential part of Islam.”
In December 2021, six Muslim students wearing Hijab were banned from their school in Udupi, Karnataka. The management stated that they cannot enter the school wearing a hijab as it represents a religious symbol.