(Last Updated On: October 11, 2016)


Please note that the below post is just a collection of thoughts and is not intended to harm anybody’s sentiments. The post is not a comment or a judgement on any religion or religious practice. And is neither arguing about women’s choice with respect to their attire.

I for one belong to a progressive family. Even after marriage there is no compulsion on me to wear a mangalsutra or apply sindoor, or wear traditional Indian attire. For me progression is freedom of choice. I believe that women should be allowed to make their own choices and things should not be imposed upon them. So when I look at the parda system or the burqa system, I think that they are instruments to trap the feminine. I have always wanted to find out whether the women following these systems feel the same way. But I never got the opportunity to ask this question to anybody.

One day I was having a conversation with a new friend of mine here in Prague. And how it usually happens that one thing leads to another, our conversation started from weather in Prague to indians staying here to shopping for winters to switzerland to religion.

As I had developed a good camaraderie with this friend , I thought I shall ask her ‘the question.’ So, very hesitantly I asked,”I wanted to ask you something. I hope you will not mind.”.She smiled and said, “No, not at all. Go ahead.” I was still very reluctant but I gathered up courage and asked her,”Don’t you guys feel trapped, because you have to wear a burqa all the time ?” I was all set to see anger on her face. But she just smiled and said,”No, I am used to it. But why do you think like this?”

Her calm composure gave me encouragement, so I continued, now in a more relaxed manner,”No offence to the religion, but I asked this just keeping in consideration basic human nature.” She was amused by my response and asked,”How so?”

I answered,”We all like being praised, specially the ladies. We like it when people notice us, they praise our clothes. Our new look, our new accessories, our haircut etc etc. Basically we like it when people notice us. We like to flaunt our newly acquired shopping. But for you guys everything is same.”

She gave me a knowing smile and then she started answering my queries. She said.”We don’t wear burqa all the time. When we are with family and friends we don’t wear a burqa. In our family we wear it in presence of people we don’t know properly. It’s for our protection only.”

I was rather confused with her answer. Seeing the confusion on my face she said,” Let me ask you a question” I nodded  and waited attentively for her question. “If you see a stranger checking you out or ogling at you, how will you feel? If a stranger compliments you for your clothes or your looks what will you think?” I replied,” I will feel offended of course. I am not a thing of pleasure or somebody’s property.” “Exactly my point”, she said. “this is why we wear a burqa in presence of strangers. We seek praise and appreciation regarding our looks and attires from the people whom we know. Because, we know that they won’t eye us wrongly. If a stranger is complimenting me, he is actually checking me out and I would not like it.”

I was not expecting this at all. I was actually surprised, not at the response but at my ignorance. So giving her my ‘you got me’ smile, I said,” I had never thought it this way. Thank you for giving me a new perspective.”

This conversation made me realise that our opinions or judgements should not be clogged by our ignorance. One must always gather information before forming such staunch opinions.

Sunith · October 11, 2016 at 11:56 am

Very beautifully explained.

    Prajakta · October 11, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks Sunith ji. I think here the credit should go to my friend who explained the concept in such a manner that I could do away with my prejudice

      Sunith · October 11, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      Very true Prajakta.

Harbans · October 11, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Those who get preferable value system from their parents adjust in any atmosphere they are placed. There is no boundaries or compulsions for them to keep them entrapped. They are open to all the aspects. For them everyday provides them vistas of lessons. Your blog is glimpse of your

Ashik T M · October 11, 2016 at 5:59 pm

I would like to share my thought on religious perspective,islam means one who submits his will to the almighty or ‘Allah’ what Muslims call.islam give more importance to women,and as per religion she can impress her buety only before husband and not to strangers.I can explain you the importance of veil with a simple example.if you found a sweet unwrapped or uncovered,it will be surrounded by lot of ants or files etc.what if it is properly wrapped,it will be well protected isn’t it ?same philosophy applies to veil of women also.
I hope i add some light to your topic.cheers!

    Prajakta · October 12, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Thank you. And yes it was helpful

boundlessblessingsblog · October 12, 2016 at 11:07 am

Prajakta you have explained it so beautifully and yes one must not generalize or judge anybody from their attire.

Akhila · October 12, 2016 at 12:10 pm

good conversation Praja…after all if they are comfortable in their coverings, let it be done.. then on the ogling part, i dont think that if covered, they are escaped.

PoojaG · October 17, 2016 at 2:09 pm

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parijat shukla · October 20, 2016 at 1:47 am

You know when a person gets brainwashed into believing something they believe things with such a great confidence and conviction that they even change views of third person ie you in this case 😊
The other day i saw few ladied justfying triple talaaq on tv as in their opinion God knows better !!
I see even small girls wrapped in covering from head to toe even in summer..so medieval and even cruel..
We shouldnt refrain from calling a spade a spade even when being called as judgmental ☺

    Prajakta · October 20, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Yes a spade is a spade… But now I also know what the other person means by spade…. So I cannot say that spade is not what you think.

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