Past week saw the eruption of a new controversy in Karnataka, when some girls, wearing hijab, were denied entry in classrooms. On one hand this fueled the hijab girl to protest & approach the court, while on the other it fueled backlash by protesting Hindu students.
This also led to several unwanted skirmishes & rifts between 2 communities, not just in Karnataka, but even in different patches of our country.
Supporters of RSS-BJP, taking stand against hijab in secular classroom, might have also felt a bit betrayed, as a member of RSS Muslim wing comes out in support of hijab girls, and condemn those protesting and taking stand against them. Although, RSS Muslim wing was quick enough to disown this statement of his member.
Next in the row comes the statement of PM Modi, (who looks unwilling to gamble upon the Muslim women’s vote bank & go safe) in which he termed it as a “newly constructed way to block the rights of Muslim women”. He added” Yogi led govt is necessary to ensure that women aren’t oppressed in U.P”. Some peoples might have hard time finding any concrete condemnation of this new Islamic frenzy to practice their religion with a great zeal in public spaces (preceded by the Namaj row in Gurgaon) in this statement.
The elite (otherwise progressive), pro-hijab lobby, finds them sailing a tough upstream, as they go against their previous policies to not appreciate (if not ban) any religious tradition or custom which is oppressing for women (be it ghoongat, dowry, marriage law, inheritance law, polygamy, maintenance law). Although they have been extremely virtuous & consistent while following their “vow to stand against oppression”, with Hindu community; but unfortunately, have failed miserably with Muslim community as they feel shy to interfere in religious matters of “not so ready” community. Obviously enough, this has led to a great rift between the ways in which law is interpreted for Muslim and other communities. The same act of 2 different peoples may land them in them different places as evident from table given below.
|polygamy||maintenance laws||marriage laws||Inheritance-e laws|
|For Hindus.||Punishable under Hindu marriage acts||Lifetime maintenance for wife||21 yrs. for both boys and girls||Daughters are equally entitled|
|For Muslims.||1937 law allows 4 women||Maintenance within specific period||After puberty around 15 yrs.||Daughters share only half of son’s|
|For Christians.||Prohibited under religious laws||Wife can apply for alimony in court||18 for girls,21yrs for boys||Variable for different communities|
In addition to this cover fire by a lobby, the pro hijab stand was also appreciated by different peoples from Muslim community who appeared in scenes with gifts like iPhone & 5 lakh cash prize. Even the Taliban, jumped into the matter, to back wearing hijab and links it to ‘defending religious value’. This makes it even more clear that what kind of peoples would cherish hijab to be a matter of choice (if not compulsory).
Something better than nothing; many eminent Muslim voices like Arif Mohammed khan, Rubika Liaquat, Taslima Nasreen etc. takes a stand against pro-hijab movement. So here is a lesson for everyone, be it Hindu or Muslim, pro-hijab or anti hijab, one must understand that even in Hitler’s Germany, everyone wasn’t pro-Nazi, may be majority of them isn’t pro-Nazi, but undoubtedly opponent voices (against pro-Nazi) was so feeble, that they couldn’t stop the course of events.
So on one hand it would have been faulty of allied powers to paint all Germans as Nazi, and also on the other hand, it would have been faulty of those opponent voices to act as a human shield (knowingly or unknowingly) against anyone who aims to take action against Nazis.
If everything goes well, and courts denied entry of girls with hijab in classroom; this might undoubtedly led some chest thumping, naive characters to believe it as their win over mischievous anti-India (or Hindu) elements, trying to increase the footprint of radical Islam and assert their religious dominance in different spheres of society. But I think “allowing hijab into classrooms” is a too big and strange (as even some extremist Muslim nations seems to make relaxation on the compulsion for hijab) demand to full fill, even for the biggest appeaser of them. This fact becomes even more evident when non-BJP states like Rajasthan, Maharastra, and even Kerala (which is known for being most inclined to such radicals than most of the other states) don’t entertain this demand much. This lack of interest in demand for hijab might be due to 2 reasons-
1. It resembles Namaj row in Gurugram, in its zeal to practice their religion in public spaces. Allowing such demands may also led to uncontrolled chain reactions of similar demands (for ex-performing 5 times Nawaz, no matter whether they are in college, schools, or offices)
2. Even if someone wishes to accept these demands, he will refrain himself from doing so because of the possible backlash by Hindu students.
I assume that by making demands of this nature, extremist elements (like PFI, CFI & many more) might be willing to shoot for the moon, so even if they miss, they could easily land into the stars.
Even though they were kept deprived of much success in convincing state or judiciary; Undoubtedly they will have surely cherished the multiple communal rifts & Islamic frenzy on display across the country (as reported from Devangere, Murshidabad, Noida etc.). It is a win-win situation for them.
Also the continuous Wahab-isation of Indian Muslim also speaks volume of the ongoing radicalization.
Obviously enough, the hijab row also made international audience like self-appointed global preacher “America” and (victim of its own nurtured radicalism & self-appointed defender of Muslims around the world) “Pakistan”, crave to monetize from the events. Thankfully, The Indian MEA was quick to slam these unwanted Comments and to term them as motivated. Although it will be a risky game for Pakistan to comment on the state of minorities in India, as it will be too easy game for India, as far as Pakistan is concerned.
Even the otherwise progressive, Malala Yousufzai seems immature to comment in the favor of pro-hijab stand, especially because, in her biography she has compared walking in burqa to “walking inside a big fabric shuttlecock with only a grille to see through” and feels himself to be fortunate enough to not wear one. Although, peoples who are aware of Malala’s comments, given by him in past, on issues like Kashmir and Indian Muslims might not have felt surprised.