NEW DELHI — Veteran lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar says he is not averse to enacting a law banning the burqa if it was accompanied with similar action against the ‘ghunghat’ system prevalent among women in Rajasthan.
Speaking to reporters in Bhopal Akhtar said, “If you want to bring a law banning burqa here (in India) and if it is someone’s view I have no objection. But before the last phase of election in Rajasthan, this government should announce a ban on the practice of ‘ghunghat’ (covering of the face by Hindu women) in that state.”
Jave Akhtar’s statement came in reaction to Shiv Sena’s demand to put a ban on burqa for Muslim women on the line of Sri Lanka, as it is a security threat to the country. Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana in an editorial emphasised to put a ban on burqa recently.
“I feel that `ghunghat’ should go and the burqa should go. I will be happy,” he added.
Though many Muslim leaders slammed Shive Sena and Saamana for the demand to put a ban on burqa, Bollywood veteran says, “Brother, I have little knowledge of the burqa as there were working women in my family and I haven’t seen practice at my home.”
“Iraq is a very orthodox Muslim country but the women there do not cover their faces. The law in Sri Lanka (now), too, forbids face cover,” said the celebrated screenwriter, a Padma Bhushan awardee, reports PTI.
In the editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana, the Sena had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to follow Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s footsteps and ban the burqa and other face-covering garments in India considering the “threat” they pose to the nation’s security.
Sri Lanka’s decision came in the wake of the Easter Sunday terror attacks in the island nation that killed over 250 people.
After the Saamana’s editorial created a furor and brought about wide-spread criticism from Muslim community, Sena distanced itself from the demand and a senior leader said the editorial was not the official stand of the party, which is an ally of the BJP.