• kewal sethi

loveday on burqa

loveday on burqa

talking about the burqa, loveday prior writes in her book 'punjab prelude' (publishers john murray, london 1952),

"it never seems to strike the men of islam that the burqa in the street is a great aid to immorality. if a bored, secluded women wants to go to an assignation with a lover, what can she do better than put on a tent like disguise. her own husband cannot spot her in the crowd. the burqa is also useful for the murderer and the thief. not all the burqas in the street are covering the women.

again it never seems to strike muslim men that if half their race is kept in seclusion and in uneducated ignorance, that is a great hindrance to their advance. pakistan would at once see the disadvantages ahead, if half of her men were to be boxed up and left to grow up as fools. it would halve her hopes. then why not double her hopes and resources by bringing out the boxed up, uneducated, out-of-world half of her people. especially as this half is the half which will make or mar the children. a trained and open mind in a woman is vet thrown away: if she becomes a mother, she is an able minded mother; and it is the mothers, not the men who make a race.

then again, there is the attitude to women and girls. girl babies are not valued. sons are the source of pride, they are welcome: girls are "just another girl". perhaps girl babies are not killed at birth, but in sickness, little effort is made to preserve them". (page 200)

(note - loveday was a teacher in lahore. she was chritian. she had spent her childhood in india and returned later to be a teacher in the years 1943-49) 


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