These days “Veil” or “Purdha” is in the news and setting public opinion against it. Everyone wants a liberal society and strive to belong to cultural wholeness. “Face-Veil” terminology may not be compatible to youth, but aim to disrupt the creditable gaze although attractive eyes visible decipher the state of mind and invite more look for emotional and expressive thoughts that remain hidden.
BY SADANANDA DAS
Wearing a veil has become a modern fashion preference among the girls and women at large. A veiled face can be fascinating, romantic. It imparts a measure of mystery and provides anticipation which can be delightfully tantalizing to the observer.
Some girls are born beautiful; some achieve beauty and some have beauty thrust upon them. As for the subject, it offers secure comfort to the not so beautiful. A partly veiled face showing only its lower half and the eyes perhaps can impart glamour coquettishness even to the plainest features. As for the real pretty, the veil invests the owner with the choice to let you see her beautiful face only when she wishes and as much! It could be exasperating.
The history of “Purdha”, a Persian word that translates to curtain has its roots in religious, social and spiritual seclusion of women in Muslim dominated nations and also in South East Asia. It has created much debate in the past and is cast aside by some Muslim women who look upon modesty as a fault. Strangely, in those days, even the legs of the pianos were covered to reveal its chastity.
The amazing facts of veil worn by the accustomed feminist folk in cities and towns use their ‘pallu” or “dupatta” to cover their head and face. These girls are mostly seen on bicycles or two-wheelers and even traverse in buses and trains. The pedestrians are no exception to this, shielding their face from the animosity of climatic conditions and hostile pollution as grounds of reason. The girls in denim jeans race to wear the scarves to cover their face and neck and as a 21st Century teens has all freedom to do whatever they please, although a single fabric in a range of colours that fed the eyes of the observer with a feast.
The girls never censor their choices and are inclined towards the doctrine of women’s emancipation and gender-right relativism. While college envision a place where the girls run wild and free and look out for guys, a real life boy-friend who likes them for their body instead of the brains.
Having no restraint orders from college, the “face-veil” girls skip their learning hours of college and take the back seat of a tidy motorcycle rode by a guy wearing perceptual mechanics of sun-glasses and head-phones vanish with a thunder, looking like more of a Cupid or Tinder.
Believing a peer approval is a reality of life by the infatuated teenagers, the ‘face-veil’ substantiates more of guts and power to rove in the city without fear or favour from the public knowledge. The guys behave as if helping the damsel in distress and better cater to the needs of their girl-friend. The disrupted gaze prevents the feminine folk from the onslaught of fierce parents and friends who fail to find identity of the wearer. The lovers look no further in their love-pursuit in isolated parks and river-side place – a perception, a reality.
This extended reach of veil in rural areas besides cities and towns for its subtle and dubious sense of relationship haunts the thinkers of today. The veil as a fetish comes from the Muslim land though discarded by the community in the passage of time raises its hydra-headed nefarious activities seen today under its canopy. At the same time it is observed that a section of society discourage and denounce such veil theory of discomfiture.
In our Hindu society the “Veil” concept is not accepted as the meaning of veil is not confined to a piece of cloth woven around the face and the neck but a social stigma. It is more likely determined as a Muslim belief system of awareness and practice.
Our society openly exhibit great abhorrence to “Face-Veil” which is undoubtedly a suppression of attraction is not for the reasons of security, health and safety issues but on the contrary it involves greater identity risk of the wearer. The very piece of scarf is loaded with a symbolic meaning besides practical functions such as comfort, warmth and protection from sun and the rain. Thus the cultural norms and beliefs in a society also regulate the economic development, largely affected by the introduction of veil.
The feminist folk should understand that the dress code or clothing knowledge has certain norms and decency. A girl as an individual should choose what to wear when she goes out into the street. Change is inevitable according to the context of social culture, geographical and generation gap.
The veil represents visual and tangible expression of social, political and religious ideas and notions.
As regard to the psychological aspect of veil, it indemnifies the traits and personality of an individual. The physical appearance conveys the attitudes and first impression situation of an individual when seen with a face that glistens. A veil-face also affects the behavioural change of the wearer and has a negative self-expression in comparison to non-veiled female.
The veiling-fashion re-enacts the religious dogmas and can never be in consensus with latest fashion trends and conceals the aesthetic taste of the feminine beauty. It never adds value to the style but crop up as the crucible of sinister, giving rise to controversies, misjudgement, misunderstanding that perceives a debatable phenomenon.
Typically, an elderly man with a grisly unshaven chin commented simply and condescendingly;
“There is harm in it”