Video of an anchor working for Haryana-based TV channel wearing veil while reading news has gone viral.
Pratima Dutta from STV Haryana News wore veil while reading her news bulletin on 29 June to protest the state’s BJP government’s diktat asking women to hide their face behind a veil.
She started her news bulletin with her face covered saying that her action was in protest against the state government’s journal asking women in Haryana to cover their faces.
Dutta told Janta Ka Reporter, “It was a protest against the state government’s diktat forcing us to wear ghoonghat. I was shocked when I read in the state government’s journal describing ghoonghat as the identity of the state. It was outrageous to say the least and reflected the government’s regressive mindset given the same government has been leading the campaign on Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. What’s the use of this campaign on girl child’s empowerment when all the state government wants is ghoonghat on our faces.”
A photo caption in a Haryana government magazine describing ‘ghoonghat’ (veil) as the “identity of the State” had sparked a controversy, with the opposition saying it reflected the “regressive” mindset of the BJP government.
The recent issue of Krishi Samvad, a supplement of the Haryana Samvad magazine, a monthly magazine published by the State government, carried a photograph of a veiled woman.
The woman’s face can be seen covered with a ‘ghoongat’.
The woman was seen carrying cattle feed on her head, even as the caption reads: “Ghoongat ki aan-baan, mahra Haryana ki pechchan (pride of the veil is the identity of my Haryana”.
The front cover of the magazine carried the photo of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Reacting sharply to the description, former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and senior Congress leader and party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had said that it reflected the regressive attitude of the ruling BJP government.
“This shows regressive mindset of the BJP government. Women from Haryana are ahead in every field. Just three days back, a young woman from the state was crowned as Miss India.
Girls from the state have made a mark in sports arena and other fields. India-born US astronaut late Kalpana Chawla hailed from Haryana,” Hooda had said.
Recently, Haryana girl Manushi Chhillar was crowned Femina Miss India 2017.
“Women wearing veil was not the original culture of Haryana. This practice started only after foreign invasions and because of the fear of invaders. In south India, there was no ‘purdah’ system. Therefore, what I want to say is that BJP government wants to move back in time rather than thinking ahead and taking the state forward,” he had said.
Not too long ago, Dangal, a Bollywood blockbuster by Aamir Khan, had smashed all previous Box Office records. The film was based on a father’s determination to train his daughters in Haryana to win Gold medals for India in international wrestling events.