Citing a ban on the burqa in Sri Lanka after the deadly Easter Sunday attacks, Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ on Wednesday demanded the imposition of a similar ban in India.
The Sena’s proposal, however, was rejected by another NDA ally, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale of the Republican Party of India, who said that burqa should not be banned as it forms part of the country’s tradition.
The Shiv Sena editorial states “It has happened in Ravan’s Lanka. When will it happen in Ram’s Ayodhya? We ask this question to the PM as he is scheduled to visit Ayodhya on Wednesday.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a political rally near Ayodhya today.
“The present government has made a law against Triple Talaq to stop the exploitation of Muslim women. After the ghastly bomb attacks, Sri Lanka has imposed a ban on the burqa and all types of face covers. President Maithripala Sirisena also announced that the decision has been taken for national security,” Saamna said in a write-up published on Wednesday.
“We welcome this decision and in the national interest, we demand Prime Minister Modi to also follow the footsteps of Sri Lankan President and ban burqa and face covers in India as well,” the Shiv Sena mouthpiece said.
In an editorial titled “Question to Prime Minister Modi, it happened in Ravan’s Lanka, when will it happen in Ram’s Ayodhya?”, Samna has also cited the death count of Colombo’s Easter Sunday attack to assert that the country which freed from itself of LTTE’s terrorism is now under the grip of Islamic terrorism.
Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena leader said, ” Burqa and niqab are not religious attires for India, they are being banned all over the world. If some people relate it to religion and Islam in India then they must not have read the Quran, they should read it properly.”
RPI leader Ramdas Athwale, however, disagreed with the Sena’s proposal to ban the burqa in public places and said it is a tradition in India and there should be no ban on it.
“Not all women who wear the burqa are terrorists if they are terrorists their burqa should be removed. It is a tradition and they have the right to wear it, there shouldn’t be a ban on the burqa in India,” Athwale said.
Meanwhile, BJP’s national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said there was no need for the imposition of any kind of ban in the country.
“We have zero tolerance towards terrorism but I don’t think there is a need to impose any kind of ban as the country is already in safe hands of Prime Minister Modi. Everyone is free to make suggestions but the whole world knows that the Central government has effectively dealt with terrorism and I don’t think any new steps are required for this.”
In its editorial, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece has pointed to countries namely France, New Zealand, Australia and Britain who have put a ban on the burqa.
Shiv Sena also claimed that the practice of burqa has nothing to do with Islam and is actually, a practice that was adopted in the Arabian countries due to their climatic condition.
“Basically, the burqa is not at all concerned with Islam, and Indian Muslims are following an arrangement of the Arab nation. At one time, to avoid desert heat and sunlight in the Arab nation, women used to cover their face and get out of the house.
“In Maharashtra also when the temperature rises at many places, the women travelling through cycle and scooters cover their face with a cloth or handkerchief, but this usage is limited to that. But in this delusion or blind faith, that wearing a face cover or burqa is the order of Koran, Muslims continue to use it,” an excerpt of the Samna editorial reads.
The Sri Lankan government on Sunday adopted measures to impose a complete ban on all types of burqas and face covers in the wake of the horrific terror bombings that rattled the entire country on Easter Sunday, claiming lives of more than 250 people and injuring hundreds.