The Veil

So Bal Thackeray of the Shiv Sena fame demanded the burqa be banned in India. Nobody but a vague little online newspaper really paid attention to his ramblings.

His demands have become routine and the public mostly has grown weary of it.

What did catch my interest though is the security angle. Yes, burqa has been often cited as a security threat, like those Kashmiri pherans. Pherans were banned for a while (are they still banned?) because people could easily carry guns and such under it. Similar arguments are being applied to the burqa.

I’m not sure if I do completely agree that it should be banned. I do think any woman who would choose to cover herself up like that is mad. But the thing is – it is about choice. If a woman chooses to cover herself up in black, not because her religion or her family or her society demands it, then it is her problem. But if she is compelled to wear the veil because of some writings on a piece of paper, that changes things.

They’ll never ban the veil in India. There are too many ramifications for that to happen. But yes, women wearing the veil will be perhaps subject to a lot more checking.

And I’m not sure if this is only me but there seem to be more women in black these days. Is it the Arab tourist season yet? Don’t get me wrong but that is when you see the influx of women wearing long black veils (and the more gorgeous clothes and make up underneath it that makes you wonder how they have the heart to cover it up).


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