Recently B-town’s favourite and country’s top fashion designer Sabyasachi received a lot of flak for his ‘shame on you’ comment he made at the Harvard India Conference criticising young women for their inability to drape a saree.

Because you’ve to wear the god damn saree to be a true Indian.

The Controversial Comment

At the Harvard India Conference, Sabyasachi had said, “I think, if you tell me that you do not know how to wear a saree, I would say shame on you. It’s a part of your culture, (you) need to stand up for it.”

Just another Indian man telling women ‘what to do’, showing them their place.

After a lot of criticism he chose to conveniently apologize through an open letter, a thing too common among celebrities because they can’t keep control over their words, also because they can’t keep the right thought which is, after all, transpiring into words.

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“My mom lived for 86 years and died by no means touching a saree”-  Rajni Basumatary (Mary Kom actress)

The problem with Sabyasachi’s comment is not just with a man disgracing a woman, the problem is also with an imminent Indian fashion designer relating the diverse Indian culture with only a saree. By this he reduces the entire country’s culture to a piece of clothing and being an influential personality it sets a wrong example.

And this is what actress Rajni Basumatry known for playing Mary Kom’s mother in the Priyanka Chopra starring biopic, tried to convey through her open letter.

“Let me start by reminding you, saree is just not a nationwide garment for ladies in India neither it’s any divinely ordained garment anD those of us not proficient in wearing it aren’t ‘ashamed’ of it”

An open letter to designer Sabyasachi MukherjeeDear Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Let me begin by reminding you, saree is not…

Posted by Rajni Basumatary on 14 फेब्रुवारी 2018

The actress is seen pointing out that the designer’s notion of culture is flawed and that the various communities that exist in India have their own garments and saree is not a commonality among all.

As she puts it, “We have no Indian language, we have Indian languages. We have no culture in India; because we have cultures. Likewise, we have no single Indian dress; we have hundreds of other beautiful and dignified dresses which we Indians wear, depending on which community one belongs to. It is true that for whatever reason, the saree has become more popular and visible than other dresses. Good for it! And good for people like you who make the living out of this garment.“

Another important question: Is Indian culture defined only by what the women are wearing?

To be just, Sabyasachi also pointed out at the conference that women have been able to keep the saree alive, unlike the dhoti which is dying a slow death.

But were men ‘shamed’ for not being able to do something they were apparently supposed to?

No, because that wasn’t required.

You can talk about culture without misappropriating it because men and women should not be ‘shamed’ for their inability in carrying out and maintaining a certain image which the society imposes as an obligation.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: Indian Express, India Today, News Minute, Economic Times

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