“So this is a tolerant society, I can see the light in every house,” she remarked
“Welcome!” the Other said casually.
“So women are finally empowered in society now?” she asked
“Of course!” replied the Other, somewhat offended.
“Finally! I was waiting for this day. In this age of enlightenment, my hijab won’t be a hindrance anymore.“
“Of course,” the Other said, somewhat reluctantly.
“So now people can finally look past my hijab and see the person I am?” she questioned.
“As long as you stay in your place and think as we do,” answered the Other.
“What does that mean?” she probed.
“Well, we are tolerant as long as you follow our set of beliefs. If you are a tolerant woman, you don’t need the constraints of this hijab,” the other remarked with contempt.
“But what if it’s due to my own free will?“
“Well, it can’t be. It’s forced on you. In this free-thinking society, we have no place for these outdated notions!” the Other shouted.
“But how can you call yourself progressive if you can’t accept what I believe?”
“Well sorry, but you need to remove it if you want the label of empowerment, it will just hold you back.“
“But recently 10 Yemeni women, fully clad in black from head to toe, managed to build the country’s first solar microgrid. What they wore was no hindrance. They accomplished what they sought out to do, that too in a war-ravaged country.”
“Hahah. That’s not empowerment!” the Other mocked, “How many people do you think know about them? Nobody can even see them. How can they be empowered if nobody knows who they are?“
“By their name are..” she started to say,
“Who cares?! Do you know the pawri girl? The Other inquired.
“Of course who doesn’t?” she replied
“Now that’s empowerment! From a child of five to an old soul everyone is emulating her. Do you think she would have been so famous if she was hiding behind a veil?”
“But I am not aiming to be her. She is free to do as she desires and I am free to do the same too if this is a tolerant society as you claim,”
“Not in our open-minded society wearing that.”
“How can you call yourself rational if you think like that?“
“That’s what a broad-minded existence is. She is being accepted for breaking the commonly held beliefs. She is spreading smiles.“
“That’s wonderful! But why can’t I be accepted if I hold on to my beliefs? and how can you claim to be understanding if you can’t accept the other point of view?”
“Because it’s not our point of you if it’s contrary to our modern agenda we can’t accept it.”
A little misguided …no?
Of course not. All this is for an everlasting open society.
Yes I agree, but I am willing to accept you if you are willing to accept me. Tolerance is a two way street.
Your veil is choking us.
But it’s my body my veil?
Don’t misuse our motto.
But cant women can be more than just a pretty face? She questioned.
Well but their beauty is the most sought-after asset. Use that. Come take it off. Come into the light.
She stood there. Perplexed she answered, that is not light. It’s the flicker of discontent still burning in this society ready to burn it all …….