Four bearded Kashmiri students barred from attending classes in Bengaluru, college cites ‘hygiene’ as reason

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Four Kashmiri students enrolled in a nursing college in Bengaluru, Adarsh College of Nursing in Mariyappana, Mallathahalli, were allegedly barred from attending classes due to sporting beards, The Hindu reported. The college principal, citing reasons of ‘hygiene’, told the students that that their internal marks would be affected if they failed to comply.

The principal, Priyadarshini had joined less than a month ago and had summoned them and told them to shave off their beards if they wanted to be marked in their internals.

“For the past week, we are being sent out of class on instructions from the principal for not shaving our beards. The management was fine with our beards when we filled the admission form and all of a sudden, the principal, who joined 20 days ago, asked us to shave it off. She barred us from entering class. The beards are part of our faith,” said one student.

Another student alleged that he could only attend two lectures. “When the principal got to know that we were in class, she asked the lecturers to send us out,” he claimed. “We tried reasoning with her but she was adamant, citing discipline and uniformity.”

The college principal, upon being contacted, said he stood by her decision as it was a professional course and that there was a need for students to be ‘disciplined and maintain hygiene’. “These people are serving the patients and it is our protocol to ensure that the nails of our students are short and the boys come clean shaven and do not have piercing. Moreover, it’s an internal issue which was resolved with the college management.”

The students then checked with other nursing colleges and was told that there was no such rule. The nursing college is affiliated to the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS). S. Sachidananda, Vice-Chancellor of the RGUHS, said the college management had erred as it could not hurt the religious sentiments of its students.

“We will inquire into the matter and issue directions to the college not to impose its views in this matter,” he said. However, the students disclosed that they had discussed this matter with their families in Kashmir, who have advised them to shave off the beard and not to get involved in any trouble.

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