Saree is worn by Indian women is by far the most elegant dress. It is not merely an outfit but an ornament which attains the grace when draped by a woman. Saree which can be linked to Vedic Culture epitomizes the continuity of an age-old tradition that has withstood the onslaught of many different cultures to emerge today as a visible symbol of the resiliency, continuity and timelessness of the Indian way of life.
They say change is inevitable, yes change is inevitable but the best stays unchanged. Saree is universally accepted as the best outfit to wear but in some countries weather does not permit the women there to wear a Saree. Even in the Malabar region of our country we had women who went with Roukka or Mulakacha and Mundu. The humidity and the climatic conditions in that region snatched the woman of their joy to wear Saree.
Last week India Today brought out a video on “Struggles of wearing a Saree to work”. The video which had a hidden agenda was very nicely conceptualized to show that Saree is not an outfit to the office goers. The reasons cited were ogling men, age-related comment, odd questions from co-workers, trouble while walking etc..,
Yes, in today’s world Indian women are more comfortable in Salwar Kameez and Jeans with Trendy top. There is no need to impose Saree as the outfit for them to wear in the name of tradition and culture. But at the same time there is no need to marginalise an outfit which is stood without defeat from the onslaught over it in the name of Fashion and Freedom.
In fact I was reading an article about the way the majority of Muslim women in northern Malabar region are force to wear “Burka”. 25 years prior Burka was not the outfit of even those Kashmiri women also let go Malabar. Women from Muslim community in Malabar wore Kachathuni (Mundu), Pennu kuppayam (a full-sleeved loose blouse). Astonishingly it is the same state where a woman called Nangeli fought against “Breast Tax” imposed by the Kings of Travancore about 200 years back. The story came to light when a artist from Kerala shot to fame by using this incidence in his blog which is full of crass anti-Hindu propaganda and paintings with sexist remarks. Incidentally many so called “progressive” anti-Hindu liberals and feminists cling to this revelation by that artist to brand the way the upper caste Hindus behaved. The Communists have since eons used the back route to demean and defame others. Now ironically they are forced to cover their whole body forcefully encouraging the “Purdah” culture in the same state where Nangeli lived.
Since the year 2000 “Burka” is made the dress code for women folks in Kashmir and Kerala. While in Kashmir they threaten to behead woman who violated the dress code. In northern parts of Kerala the Burka clad women strength had gone up from less than 10 % to over 30 %. I pity the women in Kerala who have to be covered from head to toe in that humid conditions and our India Today has no video on it.
Why are they showing so much interest in probing into the inconveniences of wearing “Saree” at workplace rather than talking about “Burka” that need to be worn by those poor women in Kerala the whole day in scorching heat of Sun???
Is it their convenience???