The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Friday 3 May 2019


After Sri Lanka banned burqa following a series of deadly blasts killing 253, the issue has become a debatable topic the world over including India. Here, a political party Shiv Sena has raised the demand.

Globally, burqa has been banned in many countries. Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) endorsed burqa ban in December 2015. ECOWAS has 15 countries as its members. These countries have 181 Muslims. It was after terror attacks by terrorists clad in burqa that they took the step.

One of the clear outcome of the December meeting was on clothes that prevents identification of a person. Terror groups including Boko Haram active in that part are using female terrorists clad in burqa for suicide attacks and carrying bombs.

Burqa or niqab are different types of face covering veils worn with a robe like loose fitting dress. Burqa covers the whole face while eyes are uncovered in niqab. Burqas cover a woman’s body from head to toe.

Even if Burqa is not a religious demand of Islam, it is related to traditional values, cultural practices and thus sentimental beliefs. The countries of ECOWAS where burqa has been banned, wearing burqa was not a cultural phenomenon and so had no sentimental quotient to raise protests against it, and so they could ban it without protests.

Unlike Nigeria, an ECOWAS member, where burqa is part of tradition and culture and thus is a matter of wide sentimental belief. According to Pew Research Centre, Christianity and Islam are dominant religions here, Christians at 49.3% and Muslims at 48.8%. So, even if Christians are slightly more than Muslims, Nigeria cannot ban burqa, even though terrorists may use it in suicide attacks, because of its traditional and cultural value in the Muslim society.

How Western African countries are facing this problem can be gauged the by the statement of Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria and a Muslim. He says even a hijab may be banned if terrorists keep using burqa. Hijab covers only head and chest and face is uncovered.

Many European countries have banned burqa due to security even if they haven’t faced any attack by a burqa-clad person. All of them are democratic countries with very small Muslim population. Before banning burqa or face veil, they also decided on religious factors, gender issues and individual choices on wearing burqa. Some of them did it because they wanted social cohesion, cultural assimilation and integration in the country, like integration was a big issue in Germany after Muslim immigration from Middle-East. But security as a major issue was attached in most of these countries.

So, what should be done in India where burqa is a traditional concept with cultural and sentimental value?

Sri Lanka
April 2019
After deadly explosions killing 253
Banned burqas and niqabs, nationwide
Public spaces
Saw protests
August 2018
The Netherlands
Schools, hospitals, public transport and government buildings
June 2018
Public spaces
October 2017
Public spaces 
97% Muslims
September 2017
Banned hijab – to stop women for wearing Islamic attire
99% Muslims
January 2017
Bandits use the garment
Public spaces
September 2016
Public spaces
December 2016
July 2016
September 2016
Security – after Cameroon blast
Partial ban
Muslims – 25% - in majority in region where burqa was banned
No public opposition
July 2015
Blast by two burqa clad women killing 13
The country’s president called in camouflage
Muslims – 53%
No public opposition 
June 2015
Boko Haram killed  34 people in capital N’Djamena – by a man clad in burqa
Partial ban
Muslims – 80%
No public opposition

Southern region affected by Boko Haram – Boko Haram uses female terrorists to carry bombs
Republic of congo
By the president of the country’s Islamic high council
May 2015
Till 2013, banned hijabs in state institutions

Ban in judiciary, military and police
Public places
Not much protests from Muslims
April 2011
Social cohesion and security
Public places
July 2011
Secular society - principles of living together
Protection of rights and freedoms of others
April 2016
To protect Latvia’s cultural values
City of Novara fined a woman for wearing burqa 
Region Lombardy banned burqas and niqabs from public offices and hospitals in 2015
Cannot cover the face

Partial - Catalonia bans burqas and niqabs in public spaces
July 2014
Security, integration and co-existence 
Hijabs banned in Stavropol and
Mordovia territories
Schools and universities

Secular nature of education
Xinjiang – a Muslim province
burqa and abnormal beards
March 2017
Growing extremism
Niqabs banned for public servants

Banned burqas and niqabs in universities
July 2010
Increasing Islamic extremism among Muslim students
Hijabs banned in schools
95% Muslims
September 2011
Secular state
Hijab banned in schools
97% Muslims
December 2010
To prevent rise of radical Islam