The Sari and SabyasachiEveryone has the right to hold an opinion on any subject. They also have the right to air their opinion through any channel, whether the mainstream media or social media. But decency demands that the choice of words must be appropriate. This applies more to celebrities or people in public life. Hence, when celebrated fashion designer Sabyasachi recently said at the Harvard India Conference that Indian women should be ashamed of themselves if they did not know how to drape a sari, he was immediately castigated on the social media both for the choice of words and for trying to put out as if the sari was a pan-Indian garment.
By Anukriti Roy
Sabyasachi, according to most people, does not have the right to say that Indian women should be ashamed for not knowing how to drape a sari. For, they feel he is trying to generalize the issue and impose his own sartorial choice on them. Further, the sari was never a pan-Indian garment. Women in the north-east (as also in other hilly regions), as boxer Mary Kom rightly pointed out, never wear saris. Changing consumer preference has relegated the sari to a garment worn on special occasions even in states where it used to be the first choice garment. There are many reasons for this and ease of wearing, ease of doing work while wearing one and the cost (saris entail additional investment in blouses, or cholis, and the petticot) are the main ones.
While it might seem to some men that Indian women look elegant, beautiful and even sexy in a sari, that will seem to be a male oriented view to most women. Women will wear what they are most comfortable in, what they can afford or what they can carry-off properly, be it jeans-tshirt, skirt-top, salwar-kameej, a one-piece or a work suit. No one, including hot-shot designer Sabyasachi, has the right to shame them for their sartorial choice.
image courtesy: jansatta