Burqa, purdah & Manhood

Have you ever wondered why muslim women wear burqas? Don’t they feel hot in all that black? Some may say that it is forced upon them or some may say it is by choice. I have asked this question to lot of women, whenever possible and the reply is usually “Our buzurgs (elders) have decreed that we wear the burqa. Whatever their reasons our buzurgs must be right.” And in case of a snappy one, it is further extended to “we don’t question them (the elders). And you have no right to question us!”

Even if they had not understood it themselves, they _the muslim women _ were the custodians of male morality and so they had to cover themselves up to stop the men from getting lascivious. I am inclined to agree with French President Sarkozy when he said that burqa is not a sign of religion but a sign of subservience (with no offence to readers who may feel otherwise).

Women who were made to cover up were compelled to do so to safeguard male morality. If that is not case then why were  women were stoned when they were the ones who were raped and more often than not the offending man tried to seek an excuse like, “She provoked me; she had uncovered hair; she was wearing revealing clothes, etc to justify essentially what was his own lack of character?

Similar thoughts were brought forth in a 2006 write up  (which is still relevant to what is happening today) which supported then British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s call to Muslim women to refrain from covering their full faces while in public places. This is how I would have felt if I had been compelled to don a burqa or any other covering that went against my own sense of pride in myself and my self-esteem.

Burqa, purdah, ghunghat, and to some extent dupatta — these are nothing but signs of considering women not to be mature enough to live as they are, be as they are, and rather exist as means to ensure that our men remain men and not turn into beast.

In such a society, we should call for nothing but women-centric laws. After all, it is they who need protection, and that too from men.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sanky
    Jul 19, 2010 @ 19:45:12

    any law should not be baised… thats all..
    if it is baised then man or woman will exploit it..
    keep it strict and simple… and fair..


    • Being an Indian Woman
      Jul 19, 2010 @ 22:34:25


      I really like what you said but then our life isn’t so simple and straight. Similarly there is a dilemma keeping laws system. Our legal system’s first follows the idea that even if a thousand guilty get away, a single innocent person should not be punished. In case of such an edict, laws are bound to not only have loopholes but also biases.
      And I truly feel that its not men or women who are exploited, its weaklings who get exploited. Today, we need to ensure that we get rid of our weakness — one way to make life straight and simple!

      (& I also enjoyed Inception :). Nice review.)


  2. Sohail
    Jul 20, 2010 @ 23:48:29

    This is a very unislamic blog. Have you even thought about it before putting it out?
    Women are below men and need to stay there. Burqa is a manner to keep them there for that is where they belong. Uska kaam wahi hai. jab talak lihaz nahi rahegi, aurat kaise rahegi.
    and agar burqa, purdah na ho toh aurat hi kya. sadak chaap hogi woh.
    you seemingly are a westernised woman who does not realise what indian women should be. go ask you mother, if you still have one.. though it doesn’t look likely by your blog!!!


    • Being an Indian Woman
      Jul 20, 2010 @ 23:54:40

      Thanks for your reply, Sohail.
      first of all, what you wrote is ‘wonderful’ but please keep this trash to yourself. i understand it makes you happy to share it and blurt it out of your mind, but it is unintended and also shows that you can’t even read properly. Please don’t mind my saying it but it needed to be pointed here as there was nothing religious about my blog.
      Why should us humans bring religion over humanity. Religion is for humans and not vice versa.
      And as men exist, so do women. There is nothing superior or inferior about being either. And if you look at inferior women and superior men, you forgot one basic small thing — all, women as well as men, are born from women’s wombs with sperms from men!! It’s a shared task.
      A small suggestion — take it or leave it, your pick — grow up! And till then, I hope you don’t get married lest it will ruin her life. Good luck!


  3. Trackback: Equality: Men & women are precious? « Being an Indian Woman

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