GLA Official: ‘Purdah’ is Offensive

GLA official Siobhán McKenna has posted an internal memo warning her colleagues against using the word “Purdah” – proffering the alternate phrase “Pre-Election Period” insteadas she claims the officially recognised word “has the potential to offend Muslims”.

Purdah originates from the Urdu word for ‘curtain’ and is the religious practice of women covering up in South Asia. According to the Institue for Government the word began to be used in a political context in the 1950s when Treasury officials would go into ‘Purdah’ – meaning to withdraw from debates to avoid upcoming budgets leaking.

Siobhán may want to note that Britain uses many Urdu-originated words, including ‘pundit’, ‘yoga’, ‘guru’, ‘karma’ and ‘mantra’. Guido recommends McKenna may want to take up yoga and avoid the punditry… 


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