Purdah among Hindus

Muslims are not the only ones who observe purdah. Some Hindus also do it.

According to Jawed Naqvi (DAWN 9 Apr, 2009), the first Indian president (Rajendra Prasad) “was not allowed to see the face of his wife for the first several years he spent with her in his village in Bihar. A maid would accompany him to his wife’s room in the middle of the night, after everyone had gone to sleep. The hurricane lamp would then be blown out. Before dawn, Dr Prasad had to slip back into his bed with the rest of the family”.

This reminds me of the Arab tribe about which I wrote sometime back, where the men are not allowed to see the faces of their wives or other women in the family.

I wonder how a man would identify a female accident victim. But then, where they live, they probably don’t have roads or cars, but suppose such a man and his wife have gone to perform Haj, and his wife is killed during a stampede. How would he be able to identify his dead wife among several dead bodies?

14 thoughts on “Purdah among Hindus”

  1. I agree, Gentlemen. Some women want to be looked at, some simply don’t mind, and some do not want to be looked at, and it’s the ladies’ call to cover themselves up or show themselves off. They’re not all the same. Some women know they’re attractive and are kind enough to give the men of the world a nice snapshot, enjoying the acknowledgment in return, and some are man-shopping and some aren’t.
    There’s a whole lot more to a woman than her looks, anyway, and anyone who doesn’t measure what’s on the other’s mind, too, runs the risk of ending up in bed with a beautiful betrayer.

  2. i hate burkha

    I believe beauty in women and it should be exposed. For those who insist on wearing burkha, they have my blessing.

    But forcing one’s will on others (i.e. what the coward Taliban do) is unacceptable, and I will open fire on these self-righteous sons of bastards.

    we never had burkha in Pakistan until these afghans came pouring in as refugees and criminals. Kick out the afghans.

  3. I think even if a woman is wound up in seven burkas, the male animal will still stare at her, particularly if he’s one of those who thinks woman are there only to satisfy people like him. Joking aside, there was a time (in the 1950’s) when in Karachi the burka was mostly worn by women of the streets, or unmarried girls going to movies with boyfriends so they wouldn’t be recognized, as well as married women indulging in illicit affairs.

  4. Mohammad, you didn’t say anything comprehensible. First you said that all women should be in a burka, then you said that it should be a personal choice–I assume you mean HER personal choice. It would help if you would make up your, ahem, mind.
    Looking at people is not rude, regardless of how they’re dressed if they chose to dress that way, be it in a burka or bikini or nothing at all, knowing they would be looked at. We need to look at each other, if for no other reason than not bumping into each other in passing.
    Staring at people is usually rude; human eyes are frontally located, like any predator’s, and a focused stare is a non-neutral sign of wilful intentions, which are seldom welcome.
    Then of course, everyone on earth understands a smile. I’m smiling at you, right this minute:-)


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