Jaipur, Dec 4 (IANS) There is no need for women to wear the 'parda' (veil) or burqa in a modern world which is reaching 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 gave the call at a 'Shabad Kirtan' programme organised at his residence organised to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak where notables among various castes and creeds were present together in conveying a strong message of secularism.
Addressing the gathering, Gehlot stressed the need to eradicate the 'parda' practice saying that limiting women to a "veiled outlook" cannot be "justified" .
"Although this practice has not been adopted throughout the country, but it is followed strongly in Rajasthan and I think that time has come that we should say no to 'parda pratha' (custom).
"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.
"Imagine her plight, what she must be going through within the veiled world, in and out of her family. Hence, a 'Ghoghant Hatao Abhiyan' should be launched where women from the state and the country should come ahead to join hands for this campaign.
"Also men should come out in support of this campaign, as India being a male dominated nation has a lot of male pressure on women to stay behind the veil. In fact, no matter if it is the 'parda' or burqa, when the world is reaching Mars and the Moon, what's the need to do 'parda' in the modern world?", he asked.
He noted that over 500 years back, Guru Nanak also preached women empowerment and said that a woman gives birth to the king.
"Today when, instead of kings, there are MPs, MLAs, who are all born from the womb of women, we should, therefore, respect women," he added.
He said Guru Nanak's teachings remain very relevant in the modern world.
"He preached Hindu-Muslim unity and it stands sacrosanct even today. In his teachings he used to say that 'I am neither Hindu not muslim, but am a follower of God, He gave a message to stand for truth which is relevant today."
On the occasion, the Chief Minister announced that Sikh students are fully entitled to appear for different competitive exams while wearing their religious sysmbols of kada, kripan and pagdi.
He also announced that laws for registration of marriages solemnised via Sikh rituals would be modified.
Gehlot also said that he has approved the format of the Rajasthan Anand Marriage Registration Rules 2019 for registering Sikh marriages.