Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Black Veil

The first thing that I want to state is that in this post I am questioning a belief and a practice and not attacking it.

The black veil intrigues me. It disturbs me and brings a lot of questions for which I need answers. I am not supportive of the practice of women wearing burqua and I have my reasons for it. It is a fatal combination of religious practices and patriarch culture. I do not have a historical understanding of why women were made to wear a hijab and its connection to the present day. As per my knowledge, women were kept under the veil because they were considered as sexual objects and men did not want them to run around flaunting their beauty and bodies. From what I understand, a veil is not just a physical covering but also sets a psychological boundary which is not supposed to be crossed. Here, by psychological boundary, I aim at the various social constraints that a women is supposed to follow to keep her virginity intact which includes proper dressing, manner of conduct, body posture, walk etc etc etc. The burqua is not just supposed to conceal the woman’s body but is also symbolic of how a woman is supposed to confine herself , her feelings, her emotions and her life according to the ways as defined by the men of the society for them. For me, the hijab signifies confinement from expression of the body and the self. It curbs the sexuality,freedom and individuality of womanhood. It might be done to under the name of protection from stray eyes but did no one think of curbing those stray eyes??

Strangely, according to Islamic practices, black is the colour of mourning….why is the burqua black in colour…does this symbolize that women are evil to the society that they are to be wrapped up in a black cloth all the time??

When I look out into the world,I see many many women who have left behind these cultural practices and have ventured into this modernist world with a sense of freedom and an individuality that anybody dare not doubt and point a finger at. But this does not mean that the practice is a long past. It is very much existant in our villages, in our cities and in this big world. We talk about existentialism, we talk about modernism and post- modernism. But my question is do we have a right to talk about all these 'isms' when millions of women in this world that we live in are not even aware of what individuality means. What it means to nourish your own self and your soul....or for that matter do they understand the meaning of the word 'self' in the truest sense of it......????


Junius said...

hmmm..well written..these are the topics we usually avoid during discussions but you did dare to put your feelings in words, congrats!

Prashant evolving.. said...

well written :)
I agree with you..