Wednesday, December 31, 2014


No more, worse publicity for Dhoti?
The recent incident of preventing a Judge from entering the Tamilnadu Cricket Association Club at Chennai as he wore Dhoti shocked the Indians who respect the tradition and dress of India. A sitting judge of the Madras High Court, Justice D.Hariparanthaman went to attend a book release function organized by the TN Cricket Association Club and was prevented from entering the club quoting the reason that he is wearing Dhoti and as per the Club rules only persons with pant and suit would be permitted. Along with him two other advocates R.Gandhi and G.R.Swaminathan both practicing at Channai and Madurai High Courts were also denied entry. Though the Judge told the person who was at the gate that he should not be prevented as he was invited by the members of the Club saying the dress code should not be imposed on the guests who turn out for the function. The more irony is the function was organized by a former Chief Justice of the High Court, the book was released by a former Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court and the first copy was received by a former Chief Justice of HP High Court.  This is not a rare incident occurred in the world. In the 80s former Supreme Court Judge V.R.Krishna Iyer was also denied entry in the Gymkhana Club, Chennai as he was wearing Dhoti. When he was prevented, even after disclosure of his identity, he recorded his anger in the Guest Book. In USA also a night club in Minnesota posted a dress code. The attire the club advised it members not to wear was tacitly targeted to prevent the Blacks from entering the club. Here, the case is different as the club proposed a not wear dress code for its members instead of routine what to wear attire. This instigated the blacks to protest against the prevented dress code as this targeted against Blacks. Last year on 3rd August 2013, in Dubai Metro an Indian was prevented from entering a local train as he was wearing Dhoti which given rise to a controversy. However, later an official of the Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai, Ramadan Abdullah clarified that the RTA of Dubai has not prescribed any dress code and urged the victim to lodge a complaint against the incident so that the RTA could take necessary action in this regard. However, these stray incidents take place here and there and they serve as worse publicity for Indian attire.

Whenever, the Indian traditional dress was denied its place, we all raise and echo our voice together against such incidents. It is quite right. Our emotional voice is to be honoured. But at the same time how far we guard our tradition of wearing traditional dress? Wearing a dress is a personal matter and comfort and one cannot be compelled to wear this and that dress. Do we compromise this personal comfort in our life? Of course, the European taught us to wear pants and suits. We followed it and still we follow the same as it is comfortable. If the case is so why should we become agitated if a club or association prevents us for not wearing certain pattern of dress? After all we have compromised many things in our life including the dress habit.

This does not mean that we never protest against dress code. In our day-to-day life we compromised for our grown up children to wear miniskirts and half shirts with neck tie for going to school. We wish that child gets admission in a particular school and we are ready to follow any rule though how non-sense they are, for the sake of getting our child admitted in that particular school and we even prefer such schools that impose such non-sense dress code on our child than to a school that prescribes Indian Traditional Dress Code. Further, we prepared to wear pants of certain colour say it a cocky or blue, for the sake of getting service in an organization or factory. Even our people are prepared to change their dressing pattern for the sake of money and facilities to be received from the missionaries of any religion. If this is the case, why are we very much worried about the denial of a person on the basis of dress code from entering into a particular place?

This is because; we are unconsciously controlled by the National habits. Each Nation has its own tradition and way of expressing emotions. In a single State there are persons of different emotions at the same situation, some are polite, others are rude, and few are moderate in nature according to the so-called quality of water and Earth. This is the case with India also. Each person is proud of his culture and heritage of the part he belongs. We Indian become emotional if something adverse happens to our tradition. We do compromise our tradition knowingly and on compulsion. But one cannot impose conditions on us showing big-brotherness. We compromised to wear even unsuitable uniform consciously. If we become a member of a club accepting all the conditions of the club then we have to follow the rules and regulations including dress code of that particular club. But if we are invited as the Guests in that club we are not supposed to follow the rules or the dress code of that club. The club should also think over this aspect and treat the invited non-members with dignity and honour. If we are employed in a foreign country accepting its immigration laws enforced there, it is binding on our part to follow the rules of that country. But if we are invited by a foreign country, we are not bound to follow the laws of that country. This is the difference between the members and invitees. The same thing happened in the case of TN Cricket Association Club that the club should not have insisted the dress code for the invited guests who are not members of that club. Another argument in this case is, that the obsolete rules prescribing dress code which was prevalent in English period should not be followed blindly even after their exit. A tiny Nation Bhutan follows strictly its traditional attire whenever the diplomats visit other countries. This sort of decisiveness is required in us. If we are determined in our perception and behavior, nobody can prevent us from expressing our National thought or wearing traditional attire. First we must feel proud on our tradition, culture and heritage, rest is assured undemanding.       


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