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 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 to 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.