18 July 2005

A Burqa Over Democratic Love

Deccan Herald carries a cute little story, except that it is not so cute.
From Ranchi, its correspondent reports that some young college student women in Jamshedpur, apparently not Muslim, wear black-veil burqas as they secretly rush to meet their lovers. It seems shopkeepers rent out cell phones and chador-veils to help these women who seem to be eluding the eyes of stern parents and nosy neighbours.
Did we did we hear you say all the world loves a lover?
Hmmm, evidently not. The newspaper quotes a deputy superintendent of police, no less, saying that shopkeepers have been "warned" against continuing with their rental business. Just when we thought that an entrepreneurial culture was alive and kicking in India. Tch,tch!
The reporter does not mention as to what law the girls who wear burqas violate, or which criminal act are the shopkeepers guilty of. All we can say is that in India's vast hinterland, women fall in love at their own risk.
In a country that promises liberty, equaity and a free press, where Bollywood starlets fall over each other to say shocking things to get into print, poor, hapless lovers have to cope with a police force which would be better off catching thieves. And you have a media that reports this police statement as if it was the perfect thing to happen.


uma said...

this is so bizarre....what law do the girls violate?

Indian Media Notes said...

Precisely. the point I am making is that local police in small towns tend to function like extended arms of the feudal culture. Have you seen Govind Nihalani's "Aakrosh"?