On a hot and humid lazy afternoon a little Muslim girl wearing a hijab minding her business is walking to school. Suddenly she is he hounded by a group of right wing Hindutva goons who till then were just whiling off their time under a tree. They start screaming ‘Jai Shree Ram’ at her and haunting her.
The scared girl is fortunately rescued by a good samaritan who then turns on to the goons and asks them to look around and justify their actions.
The scene then turns to a number of people – a middle-aged woman carrying a pot of water covering her head from the sun, a young woman covering her face talking to a friend, a man covering his head waiting at a bus stop – emphasizing what actually covering one’s head means.
As usual, the goons do not understand the meaning and start chanting whoever they see covering their face including women with dupattas over their head and a man with a hoodie.
Infact they cross all levels of privacy when they see a man taking a good afternoon nap as they shout on his face ‘Jai Shree Ram’ scaring the daylights out of him.
The theme is evident. It’s Hindutva bigotry. The goons however finally meet their match in an elderly brahmin couple commuting on a scooter. They are stopped. The woman is seen covering her face with the pallu of her kanjeevaram saree. As they surround the couple and start chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’, they are met with ‘Om namaha Shivaya’
After a few chanting, the elderly man has had enough and asks them what is their problem. When one of the goons asks, “Why is maami (aunty) wearing a hijab?”, the man replies that its not a hijab but a veil.
The goons are not ready to listen. The elderly man then tells them its same meaning but different words in different languages. “In Arabic its hijab, in Tamil its Mukkadu (veil),” says the elderly couple.
This confuses the goons. The elderly man continues, “Haven’t you ever worn a hijab yourself?”, further confusing the goons.
“When rain comes you cover your head with raincoat, that’s plastic hijab. When you wear a hoodie T-shirt, that’s a cotton hijab. During the summers or winters you cover your face right, that is also hijab. Then why are you shouting as if its a new thing in this world?”
His wife tells him to ignore such fools and they ride away. The kick in the video comes when the sun becomes unbearable to the goons. They then take a U-turn by using their saffron shawls to cover their heads.
The above scenes are from a hilarious video or short movie called ‘Hijab’, made on the ongoing controversy in Karnataka over young Muslim women and girls being denied permission to wear the hijab in colleges and schools.
Urban Nakkalites, a Chennai-based online media company has come out with a parody of what is happening in Karnataka. It is a hilarious take on a serious issue – Islamophobia. The video has garnered a lot of positive comments as well, with many online users asking it to be translated in other Indian languages as well.
You can watch the funny video here
RIght-wing Hindutva’s new obsession – the Hijab
The word ‘Hijab’ has now become a negative word in this country. With the recent controversy of the hijab ban where female Muslim students are barred by the court of law to enter schools with hijabs on, the issue is slowly engulfing the country by spreading through various cities. This has given more wings to Islamophobia resulting in other issues such as the recent ban of Muslim traders in Hindu temple festivals or the supplying of non halal meat.
A hijab is ‘a head covering worn in public by some Muslim women.’ Loosely translated its a head scarf. On a daily basis women and men in general cover their heads for different reasons. Mostly to avoid and protect their face from pollution and the sultry summers. Should we all presume that they are all wearing a form of hijab by covering their heads?
Hijab or no hijab, does it really matter?