June 02, 2020
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The Seculars And The Bigots

Ramachandra Guha in the Telegraph says that an excess of secularism may be as problematic as bigotry:

In Calicut, the headscarf is acceptable, but a few hundred miles up the west coast of India, it apparently is not. Thus, in recent months, some colleges in the district of Mangalore have forbidden its use. Mangalore is a stronghold of Hindutva organizations, which have been emboldened by the coming to power in Karnataka of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Earlier in the year, they attacked girls for going to pubs; now, they seek to prevent girls who wear headscarves from attending college. In the first case, they protested against an alleged scantiness of clothing; in the second case, against an alleged excess of clothing. Any stick is apparently good enough, so long as it can be used to intimidate the minorities.

...For me, the ubiquity of the headscarf in Calicut University is a perfect illustration of what Mahatma Gandhi liked to call “the beauty of compromise”. The pragmatism of the Malayali stands in salutary contrast both to the thoroughgoing secularism of the French and to the narrow bigotry of the Hindutva-wadis.

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The Seculars And The Bigots
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

Ramachandra Guha in the Telegraph says that an excess of secularism may be as problematic as bigotry:

In Calicut, the headscarf is acceptable, but a few hundred miles up the west coast of India, it apparently is not. Thus, in recent months, some colleges in the district of Mangalore have forbidden its use. Mangalore is a stronghold of Hindutva organizations, which have been emboldened by the coming to power in Karnataka of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Earlier in the year, they attacked girls for going to pubs; now, they seek to prevent girls who wear headscarves from attending college. In the first case, they protested against an alleged scantiness of clothing; in the second case, against an alleged excess of clothing. Any stick is apparently good enough, so long as it can be used to intimidate the minorities.

...For me, the ubiquity of the headscarf in Calicut University is a perfect illustration of what Mahatma Gandhi liked to call “the beauty of compromise”. The pragmatism of the Malayali stands in salutary contrast both to the thoroughgoing secularism of the French and to the narrow bigotry of the Hindutva-wadis.

More here

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