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Current Affairs (15 Mar 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Modesty of Dress and Indian Culture

By Suchi Govindarajan   


March 11, 2012


Sir/ Madam,


I write to complain about the abysmal standards of modesty I am noticing in Indian society. All bad things — sensationalist TV, obscene movies, diabetes among elders, pick pocketing, dilution of coconut chutney in Saravana Bhavan — are a result of Evil Western Influences. However, to my surprise, in this issue of modesty, even the Great Indian Culture (we had invented Maths and pineapple rasam when westerners were still cavemen) seems to encourage this.


The problem, sir/madam, is that revealing attire is being worn. Deep-neck and sleeveless tops, exposed legs — and these are just the middle-aged priests! Some priests are even (Shiva Shiva!) doing away with the upper garment. And I am told some temple managements even encourage this.


But this is the worst thing. They are doing this in front of ladies and Gods, with no shame at all. Just the other day, I saw a priest without upper garments making an offering to God (which itself is shameful) and then coming out just like that to give prasadam to the ladies. The whole sanctity of the ceremony is spoilt. Plus, what evils may result if they speak to the ladies like that.


You have to worry about a society in which boys and men are allowed to dress this way.


The few who wear full dhoti and kurta are wearing some thin muslin material through which you can clearly see the outline of their underwear and banians and sometimes even read the name of the manufacturer. This is made worse because some young boys are following new fashions and wearing printed underwear in gaudy colours (Karmam Karmam).


Some more modest young people are wearing full pant with shirt and that is much better. However, this Evil Western Invention called zip is encouraging them to answer nature's call at the side of the road in full view of the public.


And what is this abomination called shorts? Is it really necessary that Indian boys need to play sports in which they have to show their legs? I think they can just stick to games like chess and cricket (it's not like they are doing well in other sports anyway). And swimming is another problem. We have a long tradition of bathing with clothes, why should they wear little Speedos just for this? I think it is just an excuse to show off their bodies.


But really, I would like to know what the parents of such boys are doing. Why are they not bringing up their sons correctly? Maybe all this is because of this trend of working fathers, who are neglecting their children for the sake of their careers. My biggest worry is that these boys and men will not be able to get married if they continue like this. Which mother-in-law would like to visit her daughter only to be given coffee by a son-in-law wearing a banian exposing his underarm hair? And that too, Bru coffee since boys are not taught these days how to make good coffee


All this immodesty will also lead to other issues. Once boys realise it is alright to expose, you don't know where it will end. Boys will be out of control.


I propose that we start imposing dress codes on Indian boys and men straight away. A good strategy is to stereotype and call them names based on the way they dress. And also, any time a boy or man is sexually assaulted, we should completely forget about the attacker and instead ask questions like “Ah, but what was he wearing?”


This is the only way we can safeguard our society.


Suchi works as a technical writer. In her spare time, she does freelance writing and editing work and also volunteers with the Spastics Society of Karnataka.


Source: The Hindu, New Delhi


URL: http://www.newageislam.com/current-affairs/suchi-govindarajan/modesty-of-dress-and-indian-culture/d/6853


  • Suchi, you have brilliantly made your point, besides making us roll with laughter!
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/16/2012 2:59:44 PM

  • Brilliant piece!! Absolutely hilarious. I'll suggest the commentators see the wit and sarcasm here, rather than take it literally.
    By Athar Azimabadi - 3/16/2012 4:56:33 AM

  • @Suchi: At this e-age, everybody is more or less talking about women's libaralisation, rights and authority in the society, we are going to pass the Women's Reservation Bill in the parliament. Here the story has got another twist, you are talking to apply dress code upon the boys, at a time when the girls are being encouraged to expose more and more, go on night-parties, hiking and all sort of funny things more and more. The hapless boys what they would think of you if you favour implementing such restrictions upon them. I think next time you are going to suggest Burga for the poor boys. Isn't it?
    By Raihan Nezami - 3/16/2012 12:08:03 AM

  • It is in tamil and suggest other to take assistance of somebody who knows tamil. Quiet an interesting perspective thankfully given by a lady, if not the deliverer could have been easily classified as mcp by women liberation of today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFl_hiPXP-8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUryNZInqg0&feature=related
    By satwa gunam - 3/15/2012 11:10:39 PM

  • Author has gone on the reverse direction. media is encourage women to dress in the most vulgar manner and unfortunate the next generation is trying to ape the same. I heard an interesting comment by lady speaker on woman dressing vulgar dress as under : Men abuse the physical weakness of woman is a punishable offense, but woman abusing the internal weakness of man in the form of vulgar dress is called women liberation. In fact this must be seen more from the transformation of the society from eastern culture to western. In the asian subcontinent a girl or boy come to age between to 13 to 18. Child has found a new excitement in the physical personality due to age. How is the society going to harness this energy. Olden time, the marriage use to happen earlier and hence the concept of gender looking out was minimal. Today the marriage age for girl must be from 25 to 30 and that of men is from 30 to 35. It is further compounded with the economic reality for survival. Ideally speaking a girl must be married after her graduation around 21 and a boy probably around 24. However it all depends on economic strata of the parents. Another mindset of the parents, is that the girl must be married only after education and if the girl is doing medical or phd, it is further going to delay the marriage.
    By satwa gunam - 3/15/2012 10:35:41 PM

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