When Narendra Modi refused to wear a skullcap in September 2011, it raised many eyebrows and invited many deductive theories. Most of the outraging individuals and organizations were those who don’t miss to waive the flag of secularism in such situations.
Surprisingly, these people were also the same people who stand for freedom of choice and find it utterly suppressive when girls/women are prescribed dress codes. However, they didn’t wait a minute to suggest a dress code for Modi.
What these people ended up doing is reducing Muslims to a skullcap. They totally ignored the fact that Modi did accept a green shawl that had Islamic texts written on it. For them, skullcap signified Muslims.
It didn’t stop here. Their skull-cap deductive theory moved to another level when Modi was seen wearing donning headgears, turbans, or tribal Dumluks. Modi, in an interview, said that he can’t wear skullcap to appease people. Even though some of the Muslim clerics defended Modi’s choice, the secular brigade kept criticizing Modi and kept reducing Muslims to mere skullcaps.
Again, they totally ignored the fact that Modi, in almost all of his election rallies, kept on telling people that Hindu or Muslims were not enemies of each other, but the common enemy of both Hindus and Muslims was poverty and corruption.
This secular-liberal obsession with religious attire was reflected even in Media, which is controlled by left-liberal narrative. Media started counting skullcaps and burqa in political rallies. Conspiracy theories and politics were drawn from these data. They didn’t realize that by doing so, they were stereotyping Muslims as skullcap wearing and burqa wearing.
This obsession with attire and linking it to Modi has again come to fore today when secular-liberal crowd is making an issue of Gujarat police organizing an anti-terror drill, where a person wearing skullcap was playing the role of a terrorists. While this is something the government could have avoided, once again by outraging against this incident, people are reducing the Muslim community to a skullcap.
Please note that a mock drill is a fictional representation. It is almost like a movie. And thus such protests is akin to what fundamentalists Muslims had objected to when the Tamil movie Vishwaroopam was released.
Yes, we can’t equate a film producer with police force (although the police claims that they use all kinds of attire, and media chose to highlight only when it was turn of skullcap). While police force could avoid taking steps that may stereotype a community, liberals are doing everything to strengthen that skullcap stereotype.
It is to be noted that in 2012, under the governance of UPA, anti-hijacking mock drill a similar mock drill was conducted at the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, where persons playing the role of terrorists were wearing skullcaps. A small section of religious leaders among Muslims had chose to protest it, but the secular-liberal crowd didn’t protest. Perhaps they understood that this will reduce Muslims to mere skullcaps.
But what happens to them when Modi could even remotely be linked to such an incident? They may think that by outraging on such issues they are making sure that Modi is reduced to anti-Muslim bigot, but in reality they are reducing Muslims to skullcaps and themselves to hypocrites.