My college had banned the hijab in the campus. I was the only student who insisted on keeping the hijab on. So they made life hell for me.They were many Muslim hijabi students but all of them removed the hijab at the gate.
Since I was the only one who insisted on wearing hijab the whole management and the professors ganged up against me. They thought I was rebelling and revolting against the rules. My college days were horrible.
I remember one particular incident. I was in the middle of a very important exam. And a very prejudiced Hindu Professor came up to me in the middle of the exam and asked me to remove my hijab. I was in a fix. I hadn’t brought a dupatta(stole) with me. I was wearing shalwar kameez underneath my coat and scarf. For me being without hijab is like being naked. And being without a dupatta is unthinkable. So, I did not remove my hijab and continued to write the paper. Kept reciting Naade Ali.
The bitch professor came again and started screaming and abusing me and asked me to remove my hijab immediately. I told her,”But I can’t remove my hijab. I don’t have a dupatta!”. She said,”I don’t care. That’s not my problem. Remove your burqa at once!”
I removed my coat. Wore my scarf like a dupatta because I knew that bitch wouldn’t let me cover my hair.
I sat down on my seat. And burst into tears.
I wept for a long time. I was crying because my hair was visible for everyone to see. I was crying because of how unfair, unjust and oppressive it was for them to ask me to remove my hijab. I was crying because I was feeling insulted and humiliated. Luckily,my hindu best friend was sitting behind me. The poor dear was trying to make me stop crying,”Zaini, don’t cry. It’s ok. You need to write the paper. We are running out of time.”
So, I finally composed myself and finished the paper. I think that they deliberately did this drama in the exam so that I don’t get good marks(since I was a topper).But I still topped the class.
Ironically, these same people nominated me for the best student award in the third year of college. Every year the class topper was nominated as thebest student.They had to nominate me. They had no choice because I was good in academics and always topped the class.