Kind of slavery:
In his book ‘Pakistan or Partition of India’ published in 1945, Ambedkar had written, ““Muslim women lag behind women of other castes because of the system of purdah. They are not able to participate in any kind of outdoor activities, due to which a kind of slavery and inferiority complex remains in them. They do not even have the desire to acquire knowledge because they are taught that they should not take an interest in anything else outside the boundary wall of the house. Being deprived of a healthy social life leads to a wrong tendency in them. Being completely isolated from the outside world, their attention remains entangled in petty family disputes. This result comes in the form of narrow thinking and narrow outlooks.”
The self-proclaimed liberal social activists, who try to compare hijab of Islam with traditions of Hinduism, should also take note of another excerpt from Ambedkar’s book. “Purdah system is a real problem among Muslims, whereas it is not so among Hindus. There is no evidence that Muslims have ever tried to end it. Social evils are also present in Hindus, but the good thing is that they accept their mistake and are running a movement against it. But Muslims do not even believe that there is any evil in their society."
In the above excerpt, Ambedkar has clearly stated that social reform continues in Hinduism, but Muslims are too stubborn about evil practices of their religion like that of hijab. Seventy seven years after Ambedkar told this and even in this twenty first century, it is real sad to observe that educated liberals are not in a mood to liberate the Muslim women from social evil like burqa and hijab.
With time Hindu society has been able to eradicate evil practices like Sati, Purdah system, Child Marriage, Untouchability, prohibition against Widow Remarriage etc. But Muslims in India especially their women folk have not been able to enjoy such social reforms. The fanatics of Islam are opposed to any kind of reforms in Muslim society. They fear it will reduce their exploitive clout over the Muslim populace and their women folk. It is an irony that a group of liberal social activists of India are in support of these Islamic fanatics through their efforts to support evil practices like hijab.