Iranian actress and model Mandana Karimi has got support from Bangladeshi author and feminist Taslima Nasrin for staging a solo anti Hijab protest in Mumbai.
The 24 year-old India based actress even documented the protest in a video that she had shared on her now-private Instagram account. The video showed her standing alone at Mumbai's Bandstand, holding a placard had texts and pictures of what is happening in Iran.During the protest, Mandana also interacted with passers-by and students and told them about the plight of the people in Iran, especially women. The video was captioned, " For Iran, my mother's tears, for my mother's broken face and heart, for sleepless nights, for freedom for life.''
Born in Tehran into a Muslim family, Mandana began her career as an air hostess and later quit the job to pursue a career in modelling. In 2010, she came to Mumbai for three months on a modelling contract.
The killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini by Iran's morality police has sparked an ourage. She was allegedly arrested for loosely wearing a headscarf. After her death, men and women in Iran staged protests on the streets. Iranian women came out in huge numbers- defying Iran's strict dress code laws. Images of Iranian women burning headscarves and cutting their hair, went viral on social media.
At least 92 protesters have been killed in the protests, according to Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights (IHR). Amnesty International has confirmed 53 deaths. A dozen security personnel have been reported killed, reports suggest while over 1,000 people have been arrested.
The protests have spread to many cities across the world.
Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen took to Twitter on October 5 to ask why Mandana is not joined by women from the Muslim community "who are forced to wear hijab". She tweeted, "Iranian actress Mandana Karimi staged a solo protest in Mumbai against the hijab. Why is she alone protesting? Why are Muslim women from Mumbai who are forced to wear hijab not joining her?"
On Mahsa Amini's death, Mandana was quoted in some media reports as saying, "I think this is a fight for human rights and women’s equality. We are asking for our right to wear what we want and not get abused or killed. This is not about the hijab or Islam. This is about our rights as women. Whether we want to wear a scarf or not should be our choice, not anyone else’s."
The actress also opened up on how her two brothers and mother is still back in Iran and how her mother is terrified of what is happening there.