Poet Bharati and Mahatma Gandhi condemned Purdah (Post No. 5408)

Compiled by  London Swaminathan



Date: 9 September 2018


Time uploaded in London – 17-07 (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5408

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.



Bharati born on 11 December 1882

Died on 11 September 1921


Subrahmanya Bharati, the greatest of the modern Tamil poets, condemned purdhah (veil) on Hindu women. he teases animaginary lady love Kannamma on wearing veil.

Here is the poem with English translation by Dr T N Ramachandran


Removal of the Veil by Bharati
TN Ramachandran’s Translation

It is the custom with Delhi Muslims
To keep the lotus face with veil covered
The liana waist and the jutting breast
Are to be veiled, as Sastras so prescribe

By veiling the breast and liana waist
Beauty is not under bushel hid;
Cupidry is not taught by word of mouth;
Can love flourish behind a veiled visage?

Noble you say are Aryan custom s old;
Did ever Aryan dames their face s veil?
Having met more than once and love exchange d
Wherefore this coy persistence— all formal?

Who will then dare essay, me to obstruct
If by force I pluck the veil from you r face?
Of what avail is pretension idle?
Can ever rind of fruit the eater defy?


Orignal Tamil Verse



Gandhi on veil from Nehru’s ‘Discovery of India’ (posted yesterday)


Anti Purdah
Gandhiji has been, and is, a fierce opponent of purdah and has called it ‘a vicious and brutal custom’ which has kept women backward and undeveloped. I thought of the wrong being done by the men to the woman of India by clinging to a barbarous custom which, whatever use it might have had when it was first introduced, had now become totally useless and was doing incalculable harm to the country. Gandhiji urged that woman should have the same liberty and opportunity of self -development as man.



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