Friday, March 8, 2019

That hijab clad girl - untold discrimination and compromises - unknown revolutions

There is this girl in the built in space attempting to go beyond her family restrictions in the name of tradition slowly failing to convince her parents to continue what she really wants in her own terms. She is one of those hijab clad girls coming to the educational institution to pursue graduation course in some honours department. She is one of those few who constantly wears hijab and it's not a fashion statement nor it's a choice but it's a prescription from the family.

"my brother is pursuing B. Tech from xxxx (private) college, but I am the first among the women to pursue higher studies from our family... You know my parents are conservative and my father doesn't want his daughter to go out!" Said the girl sitting in a department with which she doesn't really have any academic connection.

"It's not that your parents are conservative... Your parents are quite progressive in a sense that you are the first person of your family pursue a graduation course from a college"

The girl remains silent. Nods her head.

"But I have to go to Aliah University to pursue further, and I am looking forward to it"

"What makes you do that?"

"My parents do not want me to pursue a course from a mixed crowd... You know. Crowd where both Hindu and Muslims study together" -she replied.

"Now, I also want to do this, I want to leave this place..."

"Why?"

"You know, they are all like me... Muslims..." The girl completed in a tone suggesting some untold stories.

"Is there anything that happened and hurt you?"

A long pause and then she continued

"Yes, we ate together, I washed my hand and then tapped my friend... She shrugged and showed irritation with my touch!"

"But that happens... Quite often!”

"No! I don't think that happens with everyone... I feel isolated and lonely here... And since I was shocked and cried at home my father asked me for the reasons, only to decide to send me to Aliah... I protested, but he said, if I say no to anything else from now on, he will make me discontinue my studies and my sister's studies too. I seriously do not want that to happen...and I don't want to be lonely here."

Kaleidoscope could talk to her friends on the issues of discrimination. One of them replied

"This is not that we started to discriminate her... There are others like her as well, no one behaves like her. She doesn't share her tiffin with us nor she eats anything when we celebrate our friends birthdays and like that"

"It's not that she is a misfit, but you know me being a Muslim girl by myself, I think she overdoes things, and it's not her fault... She had been reared up like this it's none's fault. Tells another one from another department."

The story remains unresolved, but the resolution remains... Kaleidoscope could only think of numerous like her making compromises for being woman, being minority in sum being 'different'. Kaleidoscope believes these apparently small compromises are the revolutions many hope to see.

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