‘We have 28% Muslim Students and Not 80% in St Agnes’ – Dr Jeswina

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‘We have 28% Muslim Students and Not 80% in St Agnes’ – Dr Jeswina

Mangaluru: “We have had the same paragraph and the same sentence in the handbook from the past three years for the first year, second year and third-year students. The college was re-opened on June 11. For first-year students, we distribute the handbook during the assembly when they come along with their parents on the first day of the college. During the admissions, we have clearly mentioned the rules and regulations of the college, and all the students have agreed to follow them. We have also mentioned the rules and regulations in the application and, the parents and the students have signed the applications. For the second and third year students, we distribute the handbook on the first day of the college. We have 28% Muslim students in the college. We don’t force the students to remove the burqa immediately as they enter the campus. But students understand the rules and remove the burqa and headscarf while they enter the classroom. Classroom means not only within the four walls of the room. The rules apply to the entire campus,” said the principal Dr. Jeswina answering the queries of journalists, during the press meet on June 29.

Dr. Jeswina further said, “During the admission, some parents had asked whether students are allowed to wear the headscarf in the college. We strictly said ‘NO’ and two of the parents did not admit their children to the college. Other parents and students, who agreed to follow the rules and regulations of the college, had taken the admission. We are not forcing anyone to take admission in our college. Those who are willing to follow the rules and regulations of the college are welcome to join here. Even one of the students who had participated in the protest has later said, ‘It was my mistake to go against the college rules listening to someone. I am afraid to come in front of the media because I have made a mistake by going against the college rules’.”

When asked how many Muslim students are studying in the Degree college Dr. Jeswina replied, “We have only 28% Muslim students studying here. We are educating nearly 100 Muslim students, giving them a concession on the fees because some of the students are from poor families. The claims by the protesters that 80% of the students studying here are Muslims is far from the truth.”

Speaking to the media, Dr. Devi Prabha said, “One of the students who had taken part in the protest against the Headscarf ban has given an apology letter mentioning, ‘The members of an organization had asked me to come near the gate to discuss the headscarf issue but had never mentioned about the protest. I had gone outside the gate to meet them and the media was also present. Those present there forced me to give a statement to the media. I was not prepared and in a hurry, I gave the statement. But now all are targetting me’. The student who apologized, according to the rules, was never wearing the headscarf within the campus.”

When questioned how the CFI had instigated the students to protest against the headscarf ban, Naureen said, “Some students created a WhatsApp group ‘Justice for Scarf and Namaz’. There are 157 members in that group. When I realized the activities of the group, I immediately left that group.”

A parent of one of the students, Anis speaking to the mediapersons said, “This issue is blown out of proportion and politicised by some people. My daughter is a kid and on June 25, my daughter without her knowledge participated in the protest. Whatever happened at the college, it is without the knowledge of the parents. We send our children to the college to pursue their education. I have known this college for more than 25 years and I am proud that my daughter is part of this college. According to me, no outside party should interfere with this issue. The college authorities can resolve this problem. This issue should not take a different angle. We can always have a meeting with the College administration, PTA, and students.”

When asked about the rules framed by the College, Anis replied, “We know the rules and regulations of the college and all the students should follow them.”

Dr. Jeswina also said, “I called the media because unnecessarily wrong messages about the college are being circulated. Social media has blown the issue out of proportion accusing everyone. Even in some newspapers, certain matters which are not true have been published. You are our friends and I want the media to publish the truth. Let the truth prevail and let the right message reach the people.”

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  1. if it was protested by hindus den all d people wud start blaming bajrag dal, rss, modi, etc….now no blames at al?? even after knowin d real story??? wat abt do a protest JUSTICE FOR AGNES COLLEGE…

  2. Sweet irony! When Hindu institutions tried to implement the same rules, they were called ‘hindutva’ affiliates. Now, a christian institution is facing the same challenge. This is called ‘maadiddunno maharaaya’.

  3. In the mid sixies Mere Mehboob starring Rajendra Kumar and Sadhana was released. Sadhana wears a burkha even in the class. I am sure all of you remember that immortal song Mere Meheboob tujhe meri Mohabbat ki kasam.
    India is a secular country. Muslims can wear burkha. No one is objecting. I do not see any thing wrong in a burkha except that it may make the person a bit sweaty especially in the ‘kudla’ weather.
    I feel sorry for the college authorities who have to deal with trivial issues rather than focussing on education.
    I particularly look forward to the views of J R Lobo, Ivan D Souza and Khader. Kuch toh boliye saab. The silence is deafening.
    PS: A certain part time actress called Rum is busy preparing anti Modi teeter on this matter.

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