A photo caption in a Haryana government’s monthly magazine portraying ‘ghoonghat (veil)’ as the state’s “identity’’ has triggered an uproar.
“Ghoongat ki aan baan, mhara Haryana ki pechchaan (pride of the veil is the identity of my Haryana),” reads the caption along with a veiled woman’s photo in Krishi Samvad magazine’s March issue.
The photograph appeared on the magazine’s last page meant for off-beat photos. The magazine’s cover carried Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s picture.
Angry reactions over the caption began pouring in after it went viral on social media. Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the caption showed the government’s regressive mindset. “It does not show the progressive approach of the government. Women wearing veil was not the original culture of Haryana. This practice began due to foreign invasions and the fear of invaders.’’
Reacting to the photo, wrestler Geeta Phogat said, “We (Phogat sisters) have achieved this status …from a place where the girls had to face a lot of restrictions. Remaining behind purdah is not a matter of pride.’’
Haryana minister Ram Bilas Sharma brushed aside the controversy saying such matters are raised when some people run out of issues. “This (purdah) is part of Haryana’s culture. Haryana’s daughter Manushi Chhillar has won the crown of most beautiful daughter (Miss India). She will win the international competition also. The Dangal movie was also based on them (Haryana girls). Some people might not like this,” said Sharma. “We are proud of our customs.’’
Khattar’s aide Jawahar Yadav said it is being investigated how the photograph and caption got published.