Amid the ongoing hijab row in Karnataka, an image of students wearing a saffron scarf is being circulated across social media platforms linking it to the hijab row. The image is being shared with a claim that the image shows students from Karnataka who protested against the hijab. Through this article, let’s fact-check the context & source of the image shared in the post.
Claim: Image of students wearing saffron scarfs in Karnataka amidst the ongoing hijab row.
Fact: The image shows students at Uttaranchal University of Uttarakhand attending the convocation in Indian attire back in March 2021. All the students attending the convocation wore the same cream coloured kurta, while colours of the scarfs differed. Following the 2015 UGC circular asking the universities to use handloom garments for special occasions such as graduation, many universities have been encouraging students to attend convocation in Indian attire. However, the viral image has nothing to do with the ongoing hijab protests or Karnataka. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
The image shows students from the Uttaranchal University of Uttarakhand, when they were attending the convocation ceremony in Indian attire (Kurta and colour scarfs) leaving behind the British era black robe attire.
Reverse image search of the image in the post led us to a March 2021 news article that published the same image. As per the article, Uttaranchal University ended the practice of students attending convocation in a black robe. Instead, the students attended the event in Indian attire.
Further search on the university website yielded more photos of the convocation. These photos show students in Indian attire, where all the students wore the same cream coloured kurta while the colours of the scarfs differed. Students wore scarfs of different colours and not just saffron scarfs as shown in the viral image.
Back in 2015, the University Grants Commission, with an intention to revive the handloom sector and to improve the income of handloom workers issued a circular to all universities asking them to use handloom garments for special occasions such as graduation.
It is against this backdrop that many universities in the country have started using traditional attire instead of the British-era black gown during convocation. For instance, these visuals (here & here) show IIT Hyderabad students attending the 2019 convocation in Indian attire.
Lately, Karnataka has witnessed pro- & anti-hijab protests. In wake of these protests, the Karnataka High Court through an interim order restrained all the students regardless of their religion or faith from wearing religious clothing to class if their college has a prescribed uniform while further hearings of the case are underway. However, the viral image of the students with saffron scarfs has nothing to do with hijab protests or Karnataka.
To sum it up, an old image of Uttaranchal University students attending convocation in Indian attire is being shared linking it to the ongoing hijab row.