Ramp Walk In UP Led By Muslim Women Angers Islamic Body; ‘Burqa Isn’t Fashion,’ It Says

New Delhi: A  fashion show, ‘Splash 2023’ was organised in Muzaffarnagar’s Shriram Group of Colleges on Sunday night, where former Bollywood actress Mandakini and TV actor Radhika Gautam were the chief guests.

It did not go down well with Islamic organisations, who objected to the burqa being shown as an “item for fashion display”. They also questioned the education system and warned the college of the consequences if similar shows happen in the future.

A video of the show has gone viral, where women in burqa can be seen confidently walking down the ramp and greeting the audience with ‘adaab‘.


For the organisers, it was a platform for Muslim women to show their creative side but Jamiat Ulama district convener Maulana Mukarram Qasmi expressed strong objection to it. Claiming that the burqa is “not an item for fashion display”, Qasmi said that such an act targets a specific religion, potentially hurting the sentiments of the Muslim community. He warned that if similar events are organised in the future, legal action would be taken.

A report in India Today quoted Alina, one of the participating students, as saying that they wanted to showcase that the burqa could also be fashionable and not just a garment to be worn at home. She explained that since she couldn’t take part in the kind of fashion show where short dresses are worn, she wanted to do something for the women of the Muslim community, the report stated.

Manoj, a teacher at Shri Ram College, supported the students’ initiative. He was quoted as saying that the hijab or burqa can boost confidence among Muslim women and that there are growing opportunities in fashion related to these garments globally.

“They are very hardworking students. One of them thought that they should do something creative for Muslim women and show that even hijabs can be fashionable,” he told reporters.

The report stated that Jamiat-e-Ulema has said that this fashion show hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims. “If you are doing a fashion show then do it but do not target any one religion.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday slammed the Jamiat-e-Ulema for objecting to the fashion show.  Party MLA, Sidharth Nath Singh, while speaking to India Today TV/Aaj Tak, said that Jamiat-e-Ulema should show if it is written in the Quran that burqa-clad women cannot walk on the ramp in a fashion show.

“If it is written in the Quran, they should go and show it to the school authorities. If it is not written in the Quran, they should not object to it,” he said.

He said various types of attires get accepted in society through ramp walks and fashion shows.

“In today’s society, through ramp walk, it (different types of attires) gets acceptance. If they have anything in the Quran, they should go to school and show it to them. The school authorities will then decide accordingly,” Singh was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, actress Mandakini appreciated the ‘Beti Bachcho, Beti Padhao’ theme of the show, and said that girls should be educated and empowered. She requested parents to let women choose whatever field they want to pursue, and “let families support and inspire them”.

In a separate event, the former Bollywood actress urged people to curb “honour killing”. She said that writer Liaquat Mansoori gifted her the novel, ‘Mujhe Udne Do’, and told her that the novel was based on incidents of murders committed by family members. Mandakini added that many films have also been made on the incidents of honour killing, and society as a whole must come forward to stop it.

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