Former actor Zaira Wasim reacts to Karnataka hijab row
National Film Award-winning former actor Zaira Wasim might have been away from the silver screen for a while but the 21-year-old rarely shies away from stating her opinions on controversial issues. Most recently, the Dangal star has given her two cents on the ongoing hijab controversy in Karnataka. And, as one can expect, her take has not sat well with many. Here's what happened.
Why does this story matter?
The hijab row erupted in December when a Karnataka college was accused of denying entry to hijab-wearing students. The state government recently justified the hijab ban in classrooms under the 1983 Karnataka Education Act. Yet, the debate is still raging. Wasim is the latest celebrity to comment on the issue. Notably, she had quit acting in 2019, citing it "threatened" her relationship with religion.
'Hijab isn't a choice but an obligation in Islam'
Taking to her social media handles on Saturday, Wasim wrote, "The inherited notion of hijab being a choice is an ill-informed one. It's often either a construct of convenience or ignorance. Hijab isn't a choice but an obligation in Islam." "Likewise, a woman who wears the hijab is fulfilling an obligation enjoined upon her by the God she loves and has submitted herself to."
Giving choice between hijab and education is 'absolute injustice': Wasim
As a woman who wears a hijab, the former actor said she is resisting "this entire system where women are being stopped and harassed for merely carrying out a religious commitment." "Stacking this bias against Muslim women and setting up systems where they should have to decide between education and hijab or to give up either is an absolute injustice," she added.
This is what Wasim wrote
Post received wide-ranging reaction from netizens
Wasim noted that people against girls wearing hijab in the name of empowerment were "building a facade," adding the reality was "exactly the opposite of that." Her lengthy post received varied reactions. One Twitter user wrote: "The point of contention should be freedom to practice one's religious expression, whether it is an obligation or not according to Islam, is besides the point (sic)."
'Women subjugated to various obligations, which in turn sanction patriarchy'
This is how Malala Yousafzai reacted to controversy
Recently, women's rights activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai also reacted to the issue. "Refusing to let girls go to school in their hijabs is horrifying. Objectification of women persists—for wearing less or more. Indian leaders must stop marginalization of Muslim women," she had tweeted.