New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said the country is robbing the future of its daughters by letting the hijab come in the way of their education.

Coming out in support of hijab-wearing Muslim girl students not allowed entry in educational institutes in Karnataka, he said the goddess Saraswati does not differentiate and gives knowledge to all.

“By letting students’ hijab come in the way of their education, we are robbing the future of the daughters of India.”

“Ma Saraswati gives knowledge to all. She doesn’t differentiate. #SaraswatiPuja,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

Saraswati is worshipped as the goddess of knowledge.

Saraswati Puja, also known as Basant Panchami, is one of the Hindu festivals that marks the arrival of spring. It is being celebrated in the country on Saturday.

The hijab row issue has snowballed into a major controversy in Karnataka.

The issue started in early January at the government girls’ pre-university (PU) college in Udupi, where six students attended classes wearing headscarves in violation of the dress code in classrooms.

The college had allowed hijab on the campus but not inside the classrooms. The students protested against the directions, but they were barred to attend the classes. The girls continued their protest by sitting outside the classrooms for about a month.

One of the six protesting students at the college had moved the Karnataka High Court on January 31, seeking interim relief to attend classes wearing the hijab till the issue is settled.

The Udupi incident was followed at the pre-university college in Kundapur in the same district, with the authorities disallowing 28 Muslim girl students wearing hijabs from attending classes in the institute, citing a government direction. The girls protested against the order outside the classes as well.

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