Adding to the hijab row in Karnataka, joint secretary of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Dr Surendra Jain has issued a video statement in which he argued that the row is no more a vivad (discussion). He further said that hijab jihad ban gaya hain (the hijab issue has become jihad.)
While the statement is offensive considering how right-wing goons have used the term “jihad” time and again, it is also worth addressing that in effect it is also deeply unsound.
Continuing his tirade, Jain also said that Muslim women are being used as the face of the furious demonstration. He also states that the regressive radicals (by which he means the Muslim community) are going forward with their separatist ideology.
The VHP leader further argued that this protest could be an attempt at repeating the Shaheen Bagh blockade which went successfully in Delhi but won’t happen in Karnataka. He claimed that Muslim women are being used as the face of this “furious” demonstration.
Dr Jain also expressed his outrage at statements made by Karnataka MLA DK Shivakumar and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, both leaders of the Congress party.
He goes on to condemned Priyanka Gandhi for stating, “Whether it is a bikini, a ghoonghat, a pair of jeans or a hijab, it is a woman’s right to decide what she wants to wear. This right is GUARANTEED by the Indian constitution. Stop harassing women.”
Dr Jain said that Gandhi has “lost her mind” and that it was ridiculous to think that girls should be allowed to wear bikini in classrooms. “College should be a space of uniformity,” he added.
He also condemned DK Shivakumar for criticising the hoisting of the saffron flag. “Why is he disrespecting Hindus? To hide the sins of the jihadis?” he asked.
Background of the hijab row:
The issue, which is now being addressed by the Karnataka high court started when a government college in Udupi refused to allow female Muslim students inside the college premises solely because they were adorning the hijab. The college issue sparked a larger discussion which resulted in a saffron mob visibly harassing the girls who insist on their right to dress however they please.