A few days back, a famous Indian actress was literally slapped in public for she wore a western dress which wasn’t acceptable to one guy who thought it didn’t suit the ethics of her religion.
Then comes the news about how a college in Mumbai had strict dress codes on what women can wear in college – particularly in an attempt to restrict the western influence on women studying in the college. And one thing people won’t really believe is that there are a lot of colleges in India which has rules like these. Even the colleges with professional courses don’t want the female students to go beyond the reins of “Indian culture”. Source In Haryana, an outfit Hindu Mahasabha has demanded a ban on women wearing jeans in educational institutes.
Basically, the very rightful “moral police” in India and most of the “educated” politicians believe that Indian women should not be allowed to wear western dresses. While such things are entirely their personal opinions, they try to give some solid base to their stupid opinions that no one would otherwise pay attention to. So, they came up with things like – “Dresses like jeans, short skirts, crop tops are influenced by western culture and hence shouldn’t be worn by Indian Women”. “If a woman wears a western dress, it increases the chances of her getting raped”. And so on…
While I can bet that such politicians and the members of the “dignified” moral police won’t even be educated enough to participate in this conversation, I would like to analyze the situation and comment in a logical manner.
Let’s talk about what kind of dresses must be worn according to “Indian Culture”.
This has to begin with history of dresses worn by women in India. The earliest representations of women can be traced back to 300 BC. What women in India used to wear then? Well, our history says that they used to wear two pieces of rectangular clothes – one to cover up the breasts and the other to cover up the lower part of the body.
Then came the Gupta period (7th & 8th century) where women started wearing stitched clothes. Here, a moral police activist would say, “The facts stated in history are not clear enough and we know that Indian women believed in “Indian Culture” and didn’t reveal any part of their body through their dressing style.”
There were several regional variations in India. Let’s talk about the area where moral police is getting strict day by day. What women used to wear in South India? Well, even in colonial times, they used to keep their upper part of the body bare. Yep, that does mean exposed breasts, cleavage, nipples or whatever you can imagine. And how did the tradition of covering that part became prevalent then? That came because of Greek, Roman & Chinese influences. Oh my god! That’s a foreign influence on our “Indian Culture”.
The tradition of covering the faces or veils wasn’t there as well. It became prevalent in 15th century. In Bengal, women went bare breasted under sarees during Victorian times. No blouses. Who made blouses popular then? Wife of the great poet Rabindranath Tagore. Why did she wear blouses? Because she wasn’t allowed to enter the ‘Western’ pubs because of her bare breasted attire. Her husband asked her to adopt western culture and thus the blouses – which are now the strong part of “Indian culture” came into existence. In 18th century.
Now, Indian women have experimented with a lot of kinds of blouses and even petticoats. What is often ignored by our very “educated” moral police is that both of these were promoted through the British culture in India. So, my friends, the two pieces of cloth – blouse and petticoat that you consider a part of Indian culture are totally western. Source
So, according to above said arguments, either Indian women should wear only salwar kameez which is the national dress of India (by the way that was also brought to India when Mughals invaded India Source) or they should wear sarees without blouses and petticoats.
It is hilarious and disgusting to know how people relate their religion to the dress codes of people while completely ignoring the fact that dressing style of both men and women has been influenced by other cultures since ages. Both the genders of the society have loved to experiment with what they wear and hence the new kind of dresses “the western dresses” became popular. This is an art and last time I checked, Indian culture did support art thoroughly.
One more question that bewilders me is that why the question is always about what women wear? Why does moral police that promotes the so called Indian Culture don’t consider men? Shirts and pants are western. Why the colleges and community members don’t make it mandatory for men to wear Dhoti Kurtas? What? Is it difficult to work while wearing a dhoti? Does it become too cold to wear a dhoti in winters in north? Oh well! Try wearing sarees or salwars. You would know what feeling cold actually means.
Does Wearing Western Dress instigate rapes?
According this 2014 TOI report, one rape happens in India every 30 minutes. Source Now, the moral police say that rapes happen because of What women Wear. Basically, if you’re wearing revealing western dresses, you would be raped. Of course, there are many other factors that the moral police have listed and I’m sure they would have done a pretty good research and brushed up their facts really well. And that’s why I won’t comment on any of the factors enlisted by the “honorary” moral police.
The women in rural areas wear traditional clothes only. And there are lot of reported and unreported rape cases from rural regions of India (the number is even more as compared to urban areas). Why do they get raped then? Of course, there are other reasons.
But that means the concept of Western Dress instigating rapes doesn’t apply on some section of women. That makes it a hugely unbiased statement. Or let me state in my way – some jerks who call themselves ‘moral police’ have nothing to do in their own life because of their uselessness and low mental levels. So, they got one opportunity to try and behave like they do matter in the society. And they are just exploiting this opportunity for the wise ones like us let them do that.
I wonder why can’t we get such stupid people arrested for well, they do break a lot of laws by indulging themselves in ‘moral policing’.
Coming to the main topic of discussion, Should Indian Women Wear Western Clothes? Well, if you read this thoroughly, you would know that the so called “Indian” dresses are actually highly influenced by Western Culture. So, there is no point in arguing over this. Whatever they would wear would be western in one way or another.
I won’t talk about women rights, will and so on while talking about this subject. Do you know why? Because, most of you would already agree upon that and those who don’t – belong to a set of human beings who were gifted a little amount of brain by the Almighty and they can’t afford to use it that much and think logically on this subject.
What do you think? And if you belong to the set of people who say – ‘no’ to the question, do comment here (if you are daring enough). Let’s get your thoughts straight!