New Delhi, Dec 31: Dress code debate raises its ugly head now and then but this one is too much to digest even by Indian standards of cynicism. Recently, the lawmakers in Swaziland banned wearing of miniskirts in public places and last week a legislator from Rajasthan made a similar kind of demand.
Understandably so the schoolgirls and women are livid and targeted BJP MLA (Alwa Urban) Banwari Lal Singhal from Rajasthan for making a statement that girls should not wear skirts. They held demonstrations outside his house and handed him a skirt in protest.
Singhal has demanded a ban on skirts as uniform in schools to keep girls away from 'men's lustful gazes'. He had asked the Rajasthan government to prohibit private schools from making girls wear skirts as uniform, citing it as the reason behind increased cases of sexual harassment.
"Why can't boys be asked to change their ways? Why are girls being told what to wear? Do you expect a six-year-old child to be draped in a sari?" asked one of the protestors at legislator's house.
In his letter to the chief secretary, Mr Singhal demanded that girl students be made to wear salwar suits or shirts and trousers as uniform to reduce chances of their being subjected to lewd comments or harassment.
"Girls either walk to school or wait for school buses at various points in Alwar. That is when they face lewd comments from mischievous elements," Singhal said, adding, "It should be prohibited keeping in view the rise of social crimes against women. The school should have pant-shirts or salwar suits as uniforms for girl students."
He said that the school uniform he proposed would protect students from extreme weather conditions as well.
It is a dress, says Kiran Bedi
Activist Kiran Bedi said "wearing skirt does not mean you have a loose character. It is a dress. I feel before giving such orders the way our elected representatives speak they should introspect their behaviour".
Meanwhile, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma on Monday said Singhal should apologise to the girls over his remark.
"It is a weird and sad statement because we want to impose restrictions on the clothing of the girls. I want to ask the MLA that a three-year-old girl and an 80-year-old woman are not provoking anyone by wearing a skirt," she said.
Sharma, who has demanded the enactment of stringent laws to deter people from committing crimes like rape, further said it is extremely painful if we talk about the dress code several years after Independence.
"Why do we want to make these kids prisoners? And if we talk about the dress code several years after Independence, then it is painful. He should understand that in today's age, why should there be a difference between a boy and a girl. He (MLA) should say that the society should change its mindset," said Sharma.
"From the different comments that are coming nowadays, I think that a leader who reaches the assembly or Parliament with the help of the people's vote should at least avoid making these types of remarks. Such comments worsen the environment," she added.
Some tweets on skirts:
Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) : Please ban him from opening his mouth!
Ushy Mohan Das (@UshyMohanDas) : Why ban jeans skirts etc? Just blindfold all students!
Ahalya Holkar (@ahalyaholkar) : Yes I also protest skirts as school uniform. It all started with convent schools. Women shd also change there mindset & be more Bhartiya.
Ramesh Srivats (@rameshsrivats) : Women shouldn't wear jeans; shouldn't dress provocatively; shouldn't wear skirts. - Our netas' ideas for redressing the situation.shweta_00 (@chronic_ranter) : Ban alcohol..ban music..ban skirts..ban buses..but let the rapists walk scotfree.
MaplEsmee (@MaplEsmee) : BJP MLA tells girls to stop wearing skirts to prevent eve-teasing- The Regression in Indian society! #height of hypocrisy
Bimbo Ajibade (@bimboajibade) : Politician from Rajastan comes up with solution to #India rape problem. Says "ban girls from wearing skirts" how barbaric!!!
ruheen jaiswal (@ruheenjaiswal) : The BJP MLA frm alwar who says no skirts for school girls does he have no women in his family?or were they all born in salwar kameez!
Ganesh Shenoy (@gunnytweets) : I agree with BJP MLA who says that mini skirts should be replaced with pant-shirt/salwar-kamiz for school going girl children.
Simanta talukdar (@enigma15in) : Has anyone asked for banning Kingfisher Airlines? For air hostess wearing skirts...Oh wait...
Sheshansh (@illusionkisser) : Only in India reason 4 rape is chowmein , cell phone n mini skirts . real reason is a perverse mindset .
Shilpa (@skn1508) : Don't wear skirts..don't wear jeans..don't wear saaris..don't wear dresses..d only option we have is cover ourselves with sacks completely from head to toe.
Manav walia (@manav_walia) : BJP MLA from Alwar demands ban on skirts in school uniform. Will he demand ban on RSS chaddis????
Being Me... (@syamjee) : Rajasthan BJP leader just spilled it out that he feel horny seeing girls in skirts.. Simple.. everybody rapist have their own taste..
Husky Patel (@HuskyPatel) : This clearly shows that Indian politicians are out of touch with reality - banning skirts is not the answer !!
Judy Sebastian (@Judy_Sebastian) : So the MLA has banned skirts to "protect" girls. What they really should ban are saris which is THE most revealing clothing.
Sanjay Shah (@dhruvanu) : BJP leader who wanted skirts banned is gifted one by students. This is the Indian politics they donot want to change law.