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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Veil in Vogue: Burqa brings freedom for non-Muslims, covering face gets social sanction in India


The burqa or the veil that is demonised in the Western world and even looked at suspiciously among non-Muslims in India is proving to be a boon for the young ones.

Teenaged girls are preferring to cover their faces. The style is exactly similar to that of a Muslim veil. They cover themselves while going out with friends or even boy friends.

One of the main reasons is that middle-class girls when in company of their boyfriends, don't want to be recognised or seen by their relatives. So it's safe to cover your face and you won't have to worry about being identified during a visit to park or a mall.

That's not a Muslim girl...
This phenomenon is not restricted to a few isolated places but all over India.In small cities like Jamshedpur, the college authorities are in a fix, how to deal with the problem.

The girls take the burqas from a shop on rent before going out on date. Of course, there is no criticism of the practice. It's fashion now.

Burqa gives them anonymity and there is no fear being caught by parents or acquaintances. Earlier, girls claimed that they were protecting their skin from the harsh sun in Indian summer by covering their faces.

But now, throughout the year, you can see women covering their faces. They use a piece of cloth--like a head scarf or 'dupatta' to cover their faces.

Now it has become a perennial sight across India. In all seasons, girls in Pune, Nagpur, Bhopal, Raipur, Ranchi and other cities, go out covering their face and hair, that provides them the anonymity which they need to meet their lovers.

Veil has brought this independence to girls, which is otherwise not possible in our society. So how can you say that Burqa restricts. If Muslim girls generally used black burqa [Bohra women wore vibrant veils], then now its colourful veils for all. 

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