Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot recently urged women to give up the ghoonghat (veil) as “times have changed”. “Women can’t progress as long as there is ghoonghat… You have to proceed with courage… the govt (is) with you,” he had said.
How long have you worn the ghoonghat?
I got married 19 years ago. I have been wearing the ghoonghat since, mostly at home. Earlier, I would pull the ghoonghat till my chin, now I just cover my eyes.
Is it difficult to work in a veil?
I started working in homes 13 years ago. The women there didn’t wear a veil. When I worked, I could see things only faintly… It was very inconvenient. My employer told me to stop covering when I worked.
Do you support wearing a ghoonghat?
Fayde ka pata nahi, par parampara chali aa rahi hai (I don’t know if there is any advantage, but it is a tradition).
I feel incomplete without it. Even if I don’t cover my face fully, I cover my head, or at least my back with a pallu. I feel very uncomfortable otherwise.
Would you want your daughters-in-law to wear veils?
I have three sons (ages 19, 17, and 13). We kept the izzat of our in-laws, it is up to the next generation to decide for itself. When my bahus come, I will tell them once to wear a ghoonghat, that’s all… No one forces anybody anymore, unlike when I got married.
CM Gehlot has urged women to let go of the ghoonghat…
What does he stand to lose? It is about our honour. Let women decide for themselves. Marzi hai toh karo, nahin hai to mat karo (If you want to, wear it; if you don’t want to, don’t).