Days of our Lives!

June 26, 2006

Of Dress Codes, Taliban, Sherawat & Circles

Filed under: Musings,My Cup of Socie-Tea — Santhosh @ 10:01 PM

How much of our assumptions/theories/gospels/presumptions/notions as to what is right and what is wrong depends on the place of birth and upbringing. I’m looking at it here from the perspective of men’s nemesis – women’s clothing (we of course would like less of them ;)).

In the Taliban, women cannot even show a glimpse of their wrists without being whipped for it. They can rarely step out, never alone, and of course clad totally in their bhurkas which cover them in black from head to toe so that none can remotely discern even her build. But the women ‘suppressed’ under the Taliban regime don’t exactly feel all that suppressed. It’s the only way that they know of life. In their world, women are supposed to be covered totally and follow their men 10 feet behind. The only piece of clothing they know of is their bhurkas.

And to them show a 60’s or 70’s Indian movie. They’ll be positively shocked at the amount of ‘skin’ being shown on screen. Even a properly worn silk saree would be enough to banish the wearer.

To the 60’ and 70’s or even the 80’s generation, the thought of jeans and sleeveless and tees and tights and skirts would make them cringe. I remember the outcry that went up in Madurai because Meenakshi college relaxed it’s dress code to include salwars in the early 90’s.

What the 90’s generation of women thinks of Mallika Sherawat and co. is better left unsaid.

And for the present generation, women seen parading in casinos in Las Vegas or the beaches in Miami is something that they would not want to emulate even in their wildest dreams.

But for the Lopez’s and Hilton’s the thought of women in Taliban who wear bhurkas instead of designer labels is something that they just are not able to believe. All the public outcry they’ve brought up about women liberation and such don’t seem to affect the Taliban woman who is happy in her own little world.

So who is right and who is wrong? Who is happy and who is not?

That Taliban women are overjoyed at the thought of parading in g-strings is bull shit. Our Bush has just made sure a few interviews of young women who are now happy to step out in ordinary’ clothes are splashed. What these interviews reflect are a few doctored snaps of a minority of the populace that wants to change. And the image that’s portrayed to the American public is that of a savior. Well, the American society is one that is way below in terms of understanding humanity and whose idea of women liberation is them strutting down to a Mac in micro minis. We Indians, the more ‘conservative’ lot should be able to judge better, on account of us being neither here nor there.

Let us say we take a poll in India, even in the big metros, on whether women would like to do some Yankee dressing. It would be a no contest. Just about everyone would say an emphatic “No”. The Indian woman is happy as she is. Conservative and traditional, without being bound by Victorian principles. Bold and creative, without compromising on dignity.

The Indian male would also agree. Of course he looks at Playboy and sighs aloud; wishing India would have such a ‘culture’. But on a more serious introspection, he would never want a Rakhi Sawant for a girl-next-door. A Preity Zinta smile would do.

Even the idea of the poll would raise some serious issues with political implications.
Remember Kushboo and her “pre-marital sex” scandal!
Sushma Swaraj would have a field day.

The ‘shocking’ term thus comes a full circle :
Taliban – Oriental – Desi – Western – Taliban!

At least there is some good news.
Even if all women go gaga over shopping for clothes, they still differ on the choice.



  1. Valid Points…Esp the one calling for lesser clothes…And BTW, how about an anti-Bush community on Orkut?

    Comment by Anonymous — June 28, 2006 @ 3:07 AM | Reply

  2. still waiting for your reply

    Comment by prakash — June 28, 2006 @ 4:15 AM | Reply

  3. @AnonymousFor God’s sake, and mine, please leave your name….and as for a community for Bush,our’s would be the thousandth i guess 😉

    Comment by santhosh — June 28, 2006 @ 6:16 AM | Reply

  4. @PrakashYet to look into it da, will mail you once i’m done

    Comment by santhosh — June 28, 2006 @ 6:17 AM | Reply

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