Opinion| Hijab Controversy: Right-Wing is Destroying My Future

If today’s Karnataka is my tomorrow, then I only see darkness.
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Hijab controversy and longing for peace

What people of my age, in their prime, are talking about these days? Let me provide you with a glimpse of our world. I, with a friend, wasted the major chunk of my day discussing the Hijab-Saffron controversy. As usual, he called me the problematic ‘woke’ with bookish knowledge. I tried to prove him wrong and myself, the sole righteous person in the WhatsApp group. As with any other discussion or more appropriately any argument, this too ended with the low battery or let’s say, a technical end to our archaic argument. Two days later, he messaged again, but this time he was already quite on my side but also blamed the whole issue on the elections. 

What kind of enchantment is this that it’s not letting the person come out of this toxic web of lies and pseudo-facts, I wonder. Loosely related to this, I also wonder about what Germans must have felt when they broke out from the spell of hyper-nationalism nearly eight decades ago. But, more than wondering about history, I feel terrified thinking about the cost of this enchantment on my generation. Will we be also paying the debt in the form of our blood or with our collective future? 

Bells are ringing 

When in a matter of a few weeks, the north was engulfed by hate speeches, in the name of protecting faith, I thought, well this is a new low, but what can be expected from an election year. Political parties, who are clearly benefiting from this polarization, of course, made the distance from their radical heretics. Under pressure from the judiciary, few arrests were also made. But the next episode of these hateful jargons came from more powerful places. 

Each day, I wake up with a new slogan for minorities and thinking how can authorities let this happen. My innocent brain never seems to grasp the reality of the protector being the real antagonist. There are no heroes here, in fact, the Yodha we all chose, only talks like any other social media algorithm, giving more and more fodder for the radicalized and hungry young brains. Despite the government clearly stating in parliament that they have no information on any Tukde Tukde gang, the Prime Minister seems to know more. Perhaps they should have asked him before they provided that information. I mean, for the love of God, in which he seems to be believing so much, stop milking off unproven claims. It’s nearly been a decade now. 

When we thought things couldn’t get any worse, this Hijab-Saffron controversy came to the forefront. We are at a point where liberals are forced to protect the very thing they opposed in the name of women’s choice. The youth, the last ray of hope, our educated warriors seem to be deserting their progressive allies and joining the opposite camp. Is it even about scarfs anymore, one may question?

The debt of hate

Few facts about my generation you should know. Each day, we talk less about our ambitions and more about right and wrong happening in the country. Each morning, we start our day not by doing what’s best for our career, but by reading the hateful tweets. The ever-energetic youth with his hopeful eyes, looking into a bright future, has lost into the fog of hate speeches, threats, violence, and intolerance. With this much-clouded judgment, do you really expect that we will take the country to the age of prosperity or speaking in the language of your jargons, will make the nation Vishwaguru

To be frank, we are worried and terrified. Worries of the present and terrified that the debt of this present will be paid by our future, keep us awake at night. Each day, we see one of us turning into a hate-controlled zombie ready to attack some helpless.

What happened to the dream?

With the famous speech Tryst with Destiny, we, as a nation, embarked upon a journey to get its rightful place among the stars. But after seven decades, I feel sad to report that the journey never seems to end. We are always light years away from the destination. 

Wise men say it’s all about the journey, not the destination. After all, all your long remembered memories are from the journey you took. But do you really want to have such memories with scars in the future?

From all this, you may call me a pessimist, a disillusioned guy, and somewhere you may even be right. But, I would rather choose to let myself loose on paper than on a woman who is wearing something I don’t like.

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