Even as the burqa controversy triggered by France refuses to die down, I am of the view that India should also follow the footsteps of France, which is home to Europe’s biggest Muslim minority, and ban burqa in India too as it symbolises inequality of genders in the muslim society.
Burqa is the result of the gender chauvinism prevailing in the Muslim community and no woman actually likes to wear the veil. I am sure, almost all of them are wearing burqa only due to the fear unleashed by the fascist forces in the community. I am of the firm opinion that given a choice, no muslim woman will love to wear the burqa.
Then why this controversy? Why the muslim community wanted their women to be confined in burqas? It is the result of the thinking in the community that women are a tool to increase the community’s population.
It is okay in Muslim countries, but India is a democratic country and there should be gender equality in the country. No gender chauvinism should be allowed to exist in a democratic country like ours. I think we have an added responsibility in this regard as ours is the biggest democracy in the world.
France, which has already banned religious symbols like the headscarf, skullcaps and crosses in its schools, believes that the burqa undermines gender equality and the struggle for equal rights, which the country’s women have been waging for years. With that rationale in mind, the Lower House of the French government has approved a law to ban the burqa in public places.
The law is yet to be approved by the constitutional council and the Senate. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has declared the burqa “not welcome” in secular France and has always favoured legislation to outlaw it, although he has also warned against stigmatising Muslims.
If India believes in real secularism, it should also be not party to gender inequality.