“Virtue has a veil, Vice a mask.”
A woman is majestic in her demeanor. Her smile can charm any individual. She is pure and pious. She is Sacred.
A veil is that cloth covering which is placed to cover the face and head of things which are considered sacred. Different religions have different rules and regulations for the same but on a larger level the idea is to confine and preserve what is virtuous.
Women have always been men’s most delightful possession and certainly something which symbolizes their pride and esteem. Any damage done to a woman shows its repercussions by the actions of the man to which she belonged. This covering which women have to wear if is a voluntary act then certainly there is no room for debate. The whole idea becomes problematic when it is forced and becomes a matter of life and death in certain communities.
In Hinduism, women take ‘Ghoonghat’ or ‘Pallu’ in front of men and elders and keep their head bowed down to limit any interaction.
Islam calls this concept of Veil as ‘Hijab‘ where women after attaining puberty tend to cover themselves out of an act of modesty in public and especially in presence of men.
In Christianity, women cover their heads in church as a sign of respect.
The practice of veil has not become extinct. It is a part of proper tradition in every religion and society where women are covering themselves. But why is it so specific for women as a sex to indulge in an act of ‘veiling’?
Probably the story of how a Man is created by the God and Woman by and for a Man. In order to preserve the chastity and authorial ship over women men created such a ritual which continue to be in prominence till date. Though different institutions give reasons of ‘respect, modesty and ritual’ but the real reason lies in the fact that women are considered god’s most beautiful creation and in order for them to become a site for someone’s lustful desire its better to shield them.
But with education, awareness and a voice women have started shunning these unnecessarily imposed tents of cloth. This doesn’t make all these modern women sinful or less religious. Contemporary women know how to bridge gaps and maintain distances. They if are not under the veil are certainly not available for men in public to take a chance on them.
The idea of being modest and religious certainly doesn’t require a meter cloth to be wrapped around their faces and heads.
We can see women with headgear smoking or drinking – Will it be justified to make a claim that they are not respectful or chaste?
The answer is NO.
Women need their paths to be constructed by themselves and follow what they feel not what a certain set of rules once upon a time created by an all male society. A woman can be as sinful with a veil and as virtuous without it. Practice to spread the actual meaning of religiosity and not to curb one’s freedom to breathe, eat and survive.
Veil not just acted as a flag of ownership but also a lock of what happened indoors probably was meant to stay indoors in public as well. Domestic Violence has always been an existing phenomenon and a tool used by the men to keep their women tamed. The bruises could well be hidden only through the veil which she wore. Thus hiding the machismo of her man which comes out only within four walls.
Women shouldn’t become the beautiful eyes which have pain reflected in them and a mouth covered so that they have no Voice of their own. Instead the concept of veil should be completely eradicated for as beautiful a face they are; they are also possessed with enlightened minds which can rationally think. They are capable of protecting themselves and probably need a much better tool than a piece of cloth.
Women equally deserve Freedom, Honor and Respect!