Pakistani women have rallied to denounce a ban imposed in a region in neighbouring India on the wearing of the traditional headscarf – or hijab – by Muslim girls in schools.
Now Noam Chomsky the renowned scholar and thinker, a professor emeritus at MIT, did not mince his words in a viral video over the crisis.
About a hundred women took to the streets in the southern port city of Karachi in a protest organised by a Pakistani Islamist political party, the Jamaat-e-Islami.
In the eastern city of Lahore, dozens of women torched an effigy of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also demanded the lifting of the hijab ban.
More schools in the state followed with similar bans, forcing the state’s top court to intervene.
In the Hindu-majority India, where Muslims make up about 14% of the country’s almost 1.4 billion people, the traditional Muslim hijabs are not banned or restricted in public places and are a common sight.
However, violence and hate speech against Muslims have increased under Modi’s governing Hindu nationalist party, which also governs Karnataka.
Pakistan and India have a history of bitter relations.
The two South Asian nuclear rivals have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir, which has been divided between them but claimed in its entirety by both.
Chomsky also said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist regime has sharply escalated the “crimes” in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK).
“The crimes in Kashmir have a long history,” he said, adding that the state was now a “brutally occupied territory and its military control in some ways is similar to occupied Palestine”.