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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 02 February 2023 7.50 AM IST

Anti-hijab protests in Iran

iran

When Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister of India, she made a visit to Kuwait. During her visit she was asked about the dressing of Kuwaiti women. A foreign journalist asked Indira Gandhi that the women there wore purdah and if it wasn’t necessary that they should be allowed to dress according to the changing times. The journalist wanted to trap Indira Gandhi and also turn her against the government of Kuwait.

However, Indira Gandhi gave a tactful answer. She said that every country has different culture and the dressing comes from that culture. She said that as the PM of another country, it is not right to criticize it.

There are countries that follow the dress code as described by their religion. And there are countries that allow its citizens to wear any dress they choose. It is not correct to say that every country must follow the dressing of western countries. The right to demand a change is for only that community that lives in a country that demands the dressing as described by the religion. If they give importance to religious doctrines more than their dress, then that is their right.

Hijab protests is going on for two months in Iran, which follows the dress code as described by religion. The women in that country are coming to the streets to protest against it. The protests began after 16 September, 2022 when the official moral police arrested Mahsa Amini for not wearing hijab properly. She died in custody triggering the protests.

Each day the protest grew and began to turn into an anti-government riot. 469 persons have died since the clashes broke out. Around 20,000 persons are behind bars. Support and criticism for the protests poured from across the world.

The latest reports suggest that the government is bending to the protests. The news is that the government has disbanded the moral police. Iran’s news agency said that the Attorney General disbanded the moral police saying that it has no relation to the judicial department. There are also reports that the decision to withdraw the law making it compulsory for women to cover their heads will be taken by the parliament and the judiciary after discussions. Religion and government are made for the people.

History has taught us that if majority of the people are against a law, then it cannot stand.

The laws of the religion and government’s approach must all change with times. In Saudi Arabia women are allowed to take driving license. Therefore, it is impossible and meaningless for any religion to follow centuries old customs.

In Iran women are allowed to have university education. They are allowed to drive cars and even work in government offices. The authorities must have known that allowing all this freedom and then appointing moral police was not a good idea.

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TAGS: INDIRA GANDHI, KUWAIT, IRAN, HIJAB, PROTESTS, WOMEN, MAHSA AMINI, MORAL POLICE, GOVERNMENT
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