सामयिक (Current Issues)

On the Karnataka Hijab Controversy

1. The boys wearing saffron scarves in Karnataka and protesting against women wearing Hijab in colleges are doing the wrong thing, more than that, this will lead them to an almost permanent fundamentalist frame of mind where the “other” must be abhorred, or negated.

2. The women who have a legitimate right to enter educational institutions while wearing a Hijab or a Burqa, and who are now trending #ILoveHijab are also gullible. Most likely, this whole thing will lead them to an almost permanent fundamentalist frame of mind where the “other” must be abhorred, or negated.

Ultimately, religion and competitive politics combined, are ruining an entire generation. If you only look beyond the basic issue of the fundamental right to dress by choice, you can see the danger is bigger and the issue is far more complex than it appears.

At the first place, a piece of cloth (origins of it cultural or religious) which is definitely a symbol of oppression and misogyny, is now becoming symbol of “freedom of choice”, thereby, those willing to wear it forget the original reason of this necessity imposed on them. That imposition is real, it also has other manifestations. It hurts the emancipation of women suffering because of living life under that particular religious structure. (Needless to say, almost all religions oppress women, but women from each one need to fight their own battles).

On the other hand, those protesting against it, are undoubtedly not protesting against any symbol of oppression, they are protesting against a religious identity. By protesting against display of identity by people of only one particular religion, they are clearly sending a message that in their society, they do not accept people of that religion. They are not protesting against display of religious symbols of other religions, they are also not concerned about the sorry state of women under their own religious structure, which means they are clearly targeting women of one and only one community this time. This will leave serious and long lasting divisions in the society.

One wrong gives birth to another and a vicious cycle starts. The post-truth world cannot think objectively.

No, this is not a “balancing post”. If you think so, you need to balance your own outlook first.

– Hitendra Anant


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