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Posted Online on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 01:35 IST

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Muslim Islamic News"Presidential Candidate's Comment is an attack on Indian 'WOMANHOOD'"

Press Statement

18 June 2007

The statement of the Indian Presidential candidate Mrs. Pratibha Patil that "purdah (veil) system was introduced in India to protect women from Mughal aggressors" is reflecting her total ignorance of the Indian history and the dignified place that Indian cultural heritage has accorded to woman through the immemorial times. If this is the level of infatuity of a woman who is a candidate for the highest office of the country, it by all means disqualifies her for the job. However, I am astonished as to why the Muslim groups are taking it as an assault on the 'pardah system' prevalent in the community, and viewing the most preposterous comment of Mrs Pratibha Patel as reflecting her 'pro-RSS credentials. Her comment is a brutal attack on the very concept of 'Indian womanhood'. Despite all the ideological perversions of 'RSS and other 'Hindutwa brigade', they always remain deadly opposed to the westernised woman dress code and other obscene activities which are considered as the concomittants of the freedom of females. It is the same groups which defy the immoralities of the so-called 'Valentine Day'. 'Veil' or 'pardah' is the legacy of Indian civilization. If Mrs. Pratibha Patil's memory is not so ephemeral, she may recollect the news reports regarding the funeral of late Madhav Rao Scindhia, that no woman from the royal family came out of the house and accompanied the funeral procession, as they consider it highly immoral to come out in the public with open faces. It is the single comment which morally deprives Mrs Pratibha Patil of the right to occupy the highest office of the country. It is a serious aspersion on the modesty of the vast majority of modest Indian women. Being herself a woman, her disparaging observations about the Indian woman is not a temporary aberration but an unforgivable sin, and if she has any scruples she must voluntarily withdraw from the Presidential race.

Dr. Mustafa Kamal Sherwani, LL.D. 
Former President, All India Muslim Forum, Lucknow, India 
Presently, Dean, Faculty of Law and Shariah Zanzibar University, Tanzania Email:

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