Governor also justified his signing of Left Government’s ordinance to amend state’s Lok Ayukta Act

New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram:

Amid the row over wearing hijab in schools and other educational institutions in Karnataka, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Friday said there were instances of women refusing to wear the veil when one traces the history of Islam.

He was replying to a question regarding his stand on the ongoing hijab row in the neighbouring state.

Though he did not elaborate his point, Khan narrated the story of a young woman, said to be a relative of the Holy Prophet, to prove his point.

“I will tell you just one quote… A young girl, who was brought up in the household of the Prophet himself… and she was the niece of the wife of the Holy Prophet. She was proverbially beautiful…,” he said. “This is what history says… read it,” Mr Khan told reporters.

Quoting the story, he said when the woman’s husband was the then Governor of Kufa in medieval times, she was chided for not wearing a hijab.

What she said was that God had made her beautiful and the almighty had placed His stamp of beauty on her, the Governor said.

“She said I want people to see my beauty and see the grace of God in my beauty… And be thankful to God… This is how the women of the first generation (of Islam) behaved. That’s all I want to say,” Mr Khan said.

The hijab controversy, which first erupted in January at a government pre-university college in Udupi where six students who attended classes wearing headscarf in violation of the stipulated dress code were asked to leave the campus, has spread to different parts of Karnataka with Hindu students too responding by turning up in saffron shawls.

Such saffron-clad students are also being barred from entering classes.

Meanwhile, the Governor also justified his signing of the Left Government’s ordinance to amend the state’s Lok Ayukta Act, for which he was severely criticised by the opposition Congress.

Stating that he was not to sit in judgement about the merits of the ordinance, Mr Khan said the bill was with him for more than three weeks.

Stating that it was the elected government and their responsibility, he said he might have his own opinion (on the matter) but did not find anything against the Constitution in the Bill and therefore he signed it.

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