Indian author Devdutt Pattanaik, who is known for his work in mythology and interpretation of ancient Indian scriptures, courted controversy for a recent tweet comparing ‘hijab’ to ‘bindi and gajra’.
A hijab is a traditional headgear donned by Muslim women across the world. Meanwhile, a bindi is a dotted design on the forehead, whereas a gajra is a flower garland typically worn as a hair accessory.
Pattanaik tweeted “Hindu woman = I will wear a bindi, gajra to office.
Atheist/Secular/Liberal/Marxist = Ugh, Brahmanical backward fancy dress
Muslim woman = I will wear Hijab to office
Atheist/Secular/Liberal/Marxist = You have that Right
Me = Now you know the source of Hindutva rage”
The tweet led to many slamming the author for a downright comparison between the two, given how the hijab has faced more brunt than the other. From politicians demanding a ban on women being attacked for wearing/not wearing one, the headgear has been maligned and misunderstood for a long time.
One user wrote, “I am an Atheist, secular liberal and Marxist too. I wear Bindi, Sari and Matching accessories because I love to dress up.”
“Still trying to recall ever, ever someone in the office has ever had an issue with BINDI or Gajra. BTW what’s the comparison between Hijaab and BINDI & Gajra?” added another. “This fabricated false victimhood creating false equivalences,” said another.
Here are some more reactions on the microblogging site.
— Natasha Ramarathnam🌈 نتاشا رامارتنم (@nuts2406) August 24, 2020
Devdutt Pattanaik is an Indian mythologist speaker, illustrator and author, known for his prolific writing on sacred lore, legends, folklore, fables and parables, history and for challenging what he perceives as wilful misinterpretations of ancient Indian scriptures, stories, symbols and rituals.
His work focuses largely on the areas of myth, religion, mythology, and management. He has incorporated the Mahabharata and the Ramayana into human resource management. He has written books on the relevance of sacred stories, symbols and rituals in modern times; his more popular books include Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology; Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata and Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana and My Gita.
Why are men obssessed with women's attire?
Bindi, Bikini, Burqa
Let them wear whatever pleases them.
Point is it shouldn't be forced.
— Aaisha (@Aaisha__Aftab) August 24, 2020
— 99.37% accurate! (@potax) August 24, 2020
— Baba (@BabaGlocal) August 24, 2020
The fuck is this idiot on about https://t.co/delaZhKA7m
— meme girl, kisi shaayar ki ghazal (@pappuchaaru) August 24, 2020