The ban on hijab that started with a college in Udupi has spread to multiple other districts in Karnataka. While female Muslim students have been protesting against the discriminatory regulation, several Hindu right-wing students organised counter protests. A video recently went viral from PES college in Mandya where a group of young men in saffron shawls heckled a Muslim student in a burqa and advanced toward her while chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’. She stood in defiance of the mob and yelled back ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’. In an interview with NDTV, the student, Muskan, said that a majority of the young men in the mob were not from her college but ‘outsiders’.

A graphic has now been shared by pro-BJP propaganda outlet Kreately that has juxtaposed an image of Muskan in a burqa with another image of a young woman in western wear. Muskan’s photo is from the day she was heckled in college. The graphic that attempts to portray that both images are of Muskan carries the text ‘Aam Zindagi, Propaganda Zindagi’.

It was made by @Alphatoonist, creative director at Kreately.

The graphic has been widely shared on Facebook, including by Banglore-based users Prashanth Sambargi and Sonia Chawla.

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The graphic is also widespread on Twitter. Among those who shared it were BJP supporter Akash RSS, @VickyMeghwansh0, @SantaniPrashemi, @ChRanita and @Homidevang31.

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Different women

The woman wearing jeans in the photo is not Muskan. She is Najma Nazeer Chikkanarale, a member of Janata Dal (Secular) Karnataka. Alt News contacted Nazeer and she identified herself in the photograph. She also shared with us a screenshot of the Facebook post from 2018 where she had uploaded the picture.

In the collage below, we have juxtaposed the viral image with another photo of Nazeer from her Facebook page to show it is her in both the pictures.

There are several photos of Nazeer on her Facebook page (hyperlinked above) in varied clothing. She has posted several pictures in jeans and multiple others in hijab. One of her photographs in jeans was misused by pro-BJP accounts to claim that she is Muskan, the student who stood up against a saffron-clad mob in Mandya. This is not only blatant disinformation but also an attempt to shame Muskan for exercising her right to wear clothes of her choice. After the incident, Muskan stated that she has always worn a hijab to college and she removes her burqa while in class. She also stated that the hijab is a “part of her” which clearly means that she wears it by choice.

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About the Author

Pooja Chaudhuri is a senior editor at Alt News.