A video is viral on social media in which one can see several burqa-clad women walk through a gate even as they are hailed or heckled by some people. A police official can be seen in the video directing the women to walk. The video is being shared with the claim that the Karnataka government has lifted the ban on wearing hijab inside educational campuses and hence, women are entering a university in Karnataka dressed in hijabs.
Twitter user @Aafrin7866, who has over 24,000 followers, shared the video on May 22 with the claim that hijab was now allowed in all Karnataka colleges. The user also tagged the newly elected chief minister of Karnataka Siddaramaiah, deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar and Rahul Gandhi, thanking them for the same. The tweet has received over 30,000 views and has been retweeted over 160 times. (Archive)
— Aafrin (@Aafrin7866) May 22, 2023
Another user, @putin_pandit, shared the same video on the same day with a similar claim. The caption in Hindi can be translated to: “From today onwards there will be no ban on wearing hijab in any Karnataka college”. The tweet has received over 22,000 views and has been retweeted over 400 times. (Archive)
आज से कर्नाटका के किसी भी कॉलेज में हिजाब पर कोई रोक टोक नहीं होगा.!!pic.twitter.com/sDoW03v1fX
— 🚩पुतिन पंडित (रशिया वाले)🚩 (@putin_pandit) May 22, 2023
@ShihabChoturfan, whose Twitter bio says the account is a parody fan page of YouTuber Shihab Chottur, also shared the video in question with a similar claim and the tweet has received over 18,000 views and has been retweeted over 150 times. Shihab Chottur is a man from Kerala who last year set out on a journey to Mecca on foot to perform Haj. (Archive)
आज से कर्नाटका में किसी भी कॉलेज में हिजाब पर रोक टोक नहीं।
Hijab ALLOWED To All Colleges In KARNATAKA From TODAY.❤️
Thank You So Much .. pic.twitter.com/ZiZL2iuoe7
— Shihab Chotttur Officiall (Parody) (@ShihabChoturfan) May 23, 2023
More such posts with similar claims can be found below:
Under @ShihabChoturfan‘s tweet, we came across a few comments that said the video was old and some even mentioned that the video was from the time when the hijab ban controversy erupted in Karnataka.
Further, we broke down the video into several key-frames and ran a reverse image search on a few of them, which led us to several social media posts. We noticed that all these posts were made in February 2022.
— Abdullah Vai (@abdullahvai01) February 9, 2022
This proves that the video is old and not recent as claimed in the viral posts.
In February 2022, a college in Karnataka banned hijab inside classrooms and then the BJP government issued an order to ban hijab saying that “any clothing that would disturb equality, integrity and public law and order” will not be allowed. The order was challenged and the Karnataka high court upheld it. The matter was again challenged in Supreme Court and the apex court passed a split verdict in October 2022. The court has said that it will consider listing the plea in front of a three-judge bench.
On May 23, Amnesty India appealed to the newly formed Congress-led Karnataka government to revoke the hijab ban. (Archive)
KARNATAKA: The incoming state government must prioritize and uphold human rights for all in the state. We call on @INCKarnataka to take three priority actions for human rights. 👇🏾
— Amnesty India (@AIIndia) May 23, 2023
Responding to the same matter, state minister G Parameshwara told ANI, “We will see in future what best we can do. Right now, we have to fulfil the five guarantees we made to the people of Karnataka”. (Archive)
We will see in future what best we can do. Right now, we have to fulfil the five guarantees we made to the people of Karnataka: State minister Dr G Parameshwara on Amnesty India demanding hijab ban in Karnataka be rolled back pic.twitter.com/6jt63uXaf3
— ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2023
Besides, there was no available news report that suggested that the Karnataka government had lifted the ban.
Therefore, the viral claims around the said video, that the Congress-led government in Karnataka has lifted the ban on hijab, are false.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.