SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: May 27, 2022

Attack Types: Loss of Position | Other

Institution(s):Mangalore University

Region & Country:Southern Asia | India

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On May 27, 2022, Mangalore University imposed a total ban on Muslim headscarves known as hijabs on campus.

Under a previously-imposed dress code, Muslim women were permitted to use college uniform scarves as hijabs; however, following protests from the university’s student union (which is affiliated with the right wing national student union known as the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad), the school implemented a total ban on the hijab.

In the weeks that followed, dozens of students at Government First Grade College, Uppinangady – one of Mangalore University’s six affiliated colleges – have been suspended for continuing to wear hijabs.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about university policies which target or discriminate against members of religious minority groups, including by restricting religious observance. Scholars at Risk is further concerned about suspensions of students in retaliation for their responsible adherence to religious observances. Excluding students based on religion erodes the right to education and related university values including equitable access.