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HomeOpinionsHijab rights is like Gandhi and his Goat: Read how and why

Hijab rights is like Gandhi and his Goat: Read how and why

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Advocate, cricketer and book reader!

The present protests for Hijab Rights erupting with a well co-ordinated plan to disrupt the nation’s sovereignty reminds me about the story of Gandhi and his Goat. It was said that Gandhi loved Goat milk and so he started rearing a Goat. It was well fed, groomed with lux soap and virtually was one of the richest Goats in the care of an alleged poorman costing the State about ₹ 10/- in those days. It might not seem much in today’s terms but it was indeed a lot. What has Gandhi and his Goat got to do with the on-going protests, one might ask?

The fact that everyone remembers the story of Gandhi and his Goat but not the costs it took to maintain it, just shows how carefully crafted stories romanticized by bootlicking friendly media tend to gloss over a lot of important details to make an ordinary self serving individual into a Mahatma. Some might get offended but truth I believe is the best defence. There is a lot at stake for this country to fall to the romanticized crap that is being dished out in the name of secularism.

The simple fact that a student is saying Hijab is more important than education is a cause for alarm. The fact that the kid has been brainwashed into believing that knowledge is not important but some arcane rule about covering up is, it is the time we stand up and say enough. There is no question about a person’s right to follow their religious beliefs. But there is also no question of imposing their religious belief on an institution filled with diverse religious beliefs following a strict uniform code for its students. And the students choosing to defy the rules of the institution in the name of religious customs or beliefs are actually ready to harm not only their careers but others as well. The colleges and schools are closed. The students, who should be in classrooms are now on the streets trying to uphold their own religious identity. Where does the buck stop?

The reason I started with Gandhi and his Goat is because, like in those days, we are being misled into looking at something un-important while being hoodwinked and looted from the back. Remember that all those, who are fanning these protests under the garb of religious freedom want our youth to hate each other by dividing us.  That is their real agenda. A young mind brainwashed into believing that the other side is harmful grows into hating the other side. Let’s not let today’s young kids grow up to be tomorrow’s revenge seekers.

That is what the world wants to see. The world wants to see the destruction of a proud culture that has been living in harmony for centuries together without losing their individual identities yet retaining a respect for varied cultural and religious diversities. It has been tried and tested method for all those who came to enslave, subdue and rule over us. They couldn’t break the spirit of our ancestors, who in the end succeeded in throwing out our oppressors by posing a united front. It is time again to realize that knowledge can’t be suppressed behind a veil and that true power comes from knowledge.

Uniform is a necessary element of educational institutions and there are no bargains for it. It promotes a sense of equality and brotherhood between young minds. Let us not make those minds into narrow minded closeted individuals growing up to look at others with fear and hatred from behind their veils. The other reason I oppose the Hijab or the Burqa in an educational institution so strongly and vehemently, is the reason given by Islamists in propagating their Law and I am just giving my understanding here and not strict paraphrasing, “Any girl who does not wear a hijab is bound to be looked at by evil eyes.” Firstly,  you are promoting objectification of a woman over, what definitely should be their choice to wear. It’s like giving a choice without any option. And secondly, you are painting men or young boys as animals in a jungle than living human beings in a society of laws.

If young minds are subject to such regressive thoughts, they will grow up to become bigoted and hateful individuals posing harm to the society and women’s safety too. Let us teach our kids universal principles of brotherhood and the way to live in harmony with diversity.  One doesn’t need to flaunt their Yagnopavita on their chest nor draw a veil over their face to follow their individual faiths, especially in educational institutions. Respecting other religions doesn’t mean flaunting your religion in their face. So, when there are elements that are disrupting and corrupting young minds into giving up knowledge then it is time for society and government to step in and act.

We need to nip this in the bud as it is the future of our youngsters at stake. I respect a Muslim woman’s right to wear a Hijab, Burkha or any other choice of dress she feels comfortable in their own personal space and public space. But they cannot be a part of institutions, like the schools or colleges. They follow certain uniform dress code and the students do not have the choice of expressing their religious freedom in such institutions.  Period. Any unnecessary deviation is only going to give others to exploit these individuals immaturity to do a lot more harm in the country. There will definitely be escalation in the intensity of the violence. We have already seen students being beaten up by some Muslims in the guise of religious freedom. They are trying to instigate more such riots and we are all falling into the watch and do nothing Mode just like we watched Gandhi’s Goat and never once questioned, how the hell is the Goat so fat and healthy, while the country was starving?

To conclude, the nation paid for overlooking many IMPORTANT TRUTHS to believe in the romanticized version of a Man painted as the Mahatma and it took us many years to peel the layers behind the romanticism. Let us not be the mis-guided fools awestruck at the beauty of the Goat and start educating our young generation about the importance of uniform and respect for educational institutions and its custodians, the teachers. Because if they don’t respect the rules of a school and fight not for their education but their religious beliefs and stoop to heckling their own teachers, can they grow up to respect the constitution or the rule of law? They need to understand the consequences of breaking rules and following prey to malicious and sinister agenda. I don’t suggest any corporal punishment or any other sinister ideas but these are young minds, who need to be taught in clear terms about respecting institutional norms and following them.

And I sincerely hope the Judiciary will take the right decision in showing the value of following uniform dress code through their judgement. The country is on a path of reforms and achievements and today’s young minds are going to be the torchbearers for tomorrow’s future. We have to be pro-active in educating these young minds about the importance of seeking the truth by gaining complete knowledge than let them be influenced by half-baked knowledge spewing from the mouths of those seeking to destroy the country from within. Tomorrow’s future cannot be bargained at the alter of indecision or standing still.

Even before I started this article I had to do my own research on the hijab or burqa and also talked to some Muslim friends I have but never seen in a Burqa to understand the gravity of this custom. If it’s a choice, the educational institution picks the choice of what to wear be it a boy or girl. They are free to roam in the clothing of their choice outside. And from what I have learnt and assimilated from my friends and research, Burqa is a choice and not compulsory as per their own custom and beliefs. So the rule of the institution prevails and it is time these students are made to understand that. Jai hind.

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Advocate, cricketer and book reader!
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