Jaipur: There is no need for women to wear the “parda” (veil) or burqa in a modern world where humans have reached the Moon and Mars, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said on Wednesday, giving a call to launch a "Ghoonghat Hatao Abhiyan" (No to the veil campaign).
Gehlot was speaking at a programme at his residence organised to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Addressing the gathering, he stressed the need to eradicate the 'parda' practice, saying limiting women to a "veiled outlook" cannot be "justified".
"Although this practice has not been adopted throughout the country, it is followed strongly in Rajasthan and I think that time has come that we should say no to 'parda pratha' (custom),” he said.
"This is a scientific era, age of mobiles where world can be reached out through the cellphone, and in this situation, limiting a women to veiled world is not justified," he said.
Gehlot urged men to also come out in support of such a campaign.
The chief minister's remarks drew sharp a response from Muslims and the Rajput community.
All India Milli Council secretary Abdul Lateef Arco said Gehlot's comments against "burqa" are an attempt to interfere in the religious matters of the community.
While the Rajput Karni Sena also criticised Gehlot's remarks, another organisation called the Shri Skhatra Purusharth Foundation said it has no objection.
(With inputs from agencies)