Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan said the idea of a majority-minority divide entrenched in societies today has been sown for the very purpose of creating discontent and hatred.
"It derails India's progress," Khan said.
"The majority-minority labels are mere political jargons impressed on us by our colonial masters. Our constitution makes it profoundly clear that the building block of our nation is you - the citizen. Nowhere does it label you as belonging to a certain tribe. You are the child of India. No matter the vectors that define you," Khan said.
"You are an Indian citizen first before religious and political colours get to decide what else," Khan added.
In an exclusive interview with Manorama News, Khan said he did not want to be defined by his religion or other parameters.
"I'm an Indian. The labels they throw on me does not make me any less or any great. We are equals," Khan clarified.
Terming the ongoing hijab row as a "conspiracy", Khan said it was not a question of choice but whether a person would follow the regulations, dress code of an institution or not.
He also dismissed attempts of several to paint the agitation as enforcing the constitutional right of one to wear what he wishes.
"Institutions have the right to decide their uniform," Khan said. He also urged young Muslim girls to not flare up the issue any further.
He also dismissed the religious angle. "Nowhere in Islam is the word hijab used in the context of what women should wear," Khan clarified.
"It's a conspiracy," Khan said. "This is a deliberate attempt to derail India's progress, to pull young Muslim women even behind, to hinder them from pursuing jobs, learn new skills."
After India introduced the Muslim Women Act in 2019 to make the instant divorce granted by the pronouncement of talaq three times as void and illegal, it seems those who want to see our country in ruins have taken up the case of hijab as their new weapon, Khan said.