Miscommunication or policy shift? Kolkata teacher's resignation triggers Hijab controversy

College governing body chairman Gopal Das emphasized, "There was no directive or prohibition, and the college authorities respect the religious sentiments of every stakeholder.

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A controversy surrounding the wearing of a hijab emerged in Kolkata when a teacher at a private law college affiliated with the University of Calcutta tendered her resignation, alleging that the institute authorities had asked her to refrain from wearing a hijab to work. Following this, she ceased attending classes in protest. Sanjida Qadar, who had been teaching at LJD Law College for three years, submitted her resignation on June 5, citing instructions from the college authorities not to wear a hijab at work after May 31.

Result of miscommunication

However, as the situation garnered attention, the college authorities claimed that it was a result of miscommunication. They announced that the teacher would be returning to work on June 11 after withdrawing her resignation.

Clarification by university 

Sanjida had been wearing the headscarf since March-April, and the issue seemed to escalate in the past week. Upon the public revelation of her resignation, the college authorities reached out to her, asserting that it was a misunderstanding. They clarified that there had been no prohibition on covering her head with clothing during working hours.

What she said? 

In response to the college's reversal, Sanjida stated, "I received an email from the office on Monday. I will analyze my next steps and then decide. But I am not going to the college on Tuesday." The email she received outlined the dress code for faculty members, affirming her freedom to use a dupatta or scarf to cover her head while teaching.

No directive or prohibition 

College governing body chairman Gopal Das emphasized, "There was no directive or prohibition, and the college authorities respect the religious sentiments of every stakeholder. She will resume classes from Tuesday. There is no misunderstanding. We engaged in prolonged discussions with her. The initial developments were the result of some miscommunication."