Haryana Govt Ad Calls ‘Ghoonghat’ State’s ‘Identity’, Sparks Row
The Haryana advertisement that has sparked a row.
The Haryana advertisement that has sparked a row. (Photo Courtesy: haryanasamvad.gov.in)

Haryana Govt Ad Calls ‘Ghoonghat’ State’s ‘Identity’, Sparks Row

A photo caption in a Haryana government magazine that describes “ghoonghat” (veil) as the “identity of the State” has sparked a major controversy.

In the advertisement, there’s a woman in a ghoonghat, carrying cattle feed on her head and the caption reads: “Ghoongat ki aan-baan, mahra Haryana ki pechchan (pride of the veil is the identity of my Haryana)”.

It appeared in the latest issue of Krishi Samvad, a supplement of the Haryana Samvad magazine — a monthly published by the state government.

The advertisement has triggered sharp reactions from the Opposition, with former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and senior Congress leader Randeep Surjewala saying that it reflects the “regressive attitude” of the ruling BJP government.

‘This Shows Regressive Mindset of BJP’: Bhupinder Singh Hooda

This shows the regressive mindset of the BJP government. Women from Haryana are ahead in every field. Just three days back, a young woman from the state was crowned as Miss India. Girls from the state have made a mark in sports and other fields. India-born US astronaut late Kalpana Chawla hailed from Haryana.
Bhupinder Singh Hooda

Recently, Haryana girl Manushi Chhillar was crowned Femina Miss India 2017.

“Veiled women is not the original culture of Haryana. This practice started only after foreign invasions and because of the fear of invaders. In south India, there was no ‘purdah’ system. Therefore, what I want to say is that BJP government wants to move back in time rather than thinking ahead and taking the state forward,” he added.

‘BJP Objectifies Women’: Surjewala

Reacting to the caption, Surjewala further asserted that this “regressive mindset” and “objectification of women” is part of the “DNA of the BJP”.

‘Utter Garbage’: Reacts Twitter

Twitter was quick to react to the advertisement, slamming the Haryana government.

Senior Minister Anil Vij, however, dismissed these charges, saying that BJP government had taken a number of steps for women empowerment and was not endorsing that women should be forced to keep a ‘ghoongat’.

“What you are seeing in a government magazine should only be seen as what was Haryana's tradition. Nowhere are we saying that we want to force veil on women. We are in favour of women empowerment and we have done a lot in this regard.”

(With inputs from PTI.)

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