All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi claims that one day a hijab-wearing girl will become the prime minister of India. His prediction comes amid the intense Karnataka hijab row currently underway in India.
To clarify, back in December, a college in Karnatak suddenly asked students wearing hijabs to leave the campus. Many colleges in the region replicated the move with Karnataka home minister saying religion should be kept away from education. Muslim students asserted that they will not shun hijab no matter what. As a result, Hindu students retaliated by wearing saffron shawls representing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Furthermore, the hijab row created a communal divide between Hindu and Muslim students, deteriorating the political stability. Indian media also reported incidents of violence during the protests. The intensity of the situation forced many colleges to announce holidays.
While expressing support for the young Muslim girls who continue to fight for their right to wear the hijab, Owaisi said no one can stop the girls from wearing hijabs.
“The girls will wear hijab, will wear Niqab and go to colleges and become doctors, collectors, SDMs and businessmen,” Mr. Owaisi said.
“You all keep in mind, perhaps when I am not alive, a girl wearing a hijab will become the Prime Minister of this country one day,” he added.
Needless to say, Owaisi’s comments did not sit well with the Hindu community. Many Hindu Twitteratis called him out. They criticized him for not having a woman in his party’s working committee.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi Proclaims 'A Hijab-clad Woman Will Be Indian PM One Day'.
Same AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi has not inducted a single woman in his Party's working committee pic.twitter.com/RkkFbAZLne
— Rishi Bagree (@rishibagree) February 14, 2022
Nevertheless, India’s hijab row has raised international concern. Muslims already face a tough time in India. The hijab controversy has added to their worries as Hindu extremists continue to marginalize the Muslim community in India.
International reaction to hijab ban
Rashad Hussain, the US ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom, said in a tweet on Friday that the hijab ban would stigmatize and marginalise women and girls.
Additionally, Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai urged Indian leaders to stop the marginalisation of Muslim women. Meanwhile, Manchester United and French international Paul Pogba also expressed concern for Muslim women in Karnataka. He shared a video on Instagram with the caption “Hindutva mobs continue to harass Muslim girls wearing hijab to college in India”.
Furthermore, Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned the Indian Charge d’Affaires and condemned the reprehensible act.