By Soroor Ahmed (NVOnews.Com)
The letter of a Rajasthan MLA urging the state chief secretary to ban skirts as school uniform for senior girls is no new demand. Nor has it anything to do with India or Hindu or Muslim religion or dress code as some liberals and mediapersons tend to propagate. In fact in the modern world the battle for dress has gone beyond religious debate.
The controversy over skirts––obviously mini-skirt––is as old as it its existence. Ever since woman started wearing it in 19th or early 20th century there has been opposition from different quarters in the West itself. As late as September 2011, that is just 15 months back, the issue cropped up in England and not India or any Muslim country whether mini-skirts should be banned as school uniform or not. There were media debates on the issue. The details are only a mouse click away and can be read by anyone. But even in England women did not protest so strongly as in India the girls of Alwar did only hours after the MLA’s remarks on the issue.
After all those advocating for ban in England or in any western countries are not Taleban or Mullah or any Hindu conservative. Those who do not know the history of skirts jump to the argument that one has right to wear––or not wear––anything.
What is shocking is that some Communists are condemning the opposition to mini-skirts not knowing that there own ideologue, Karl Marx, talked about the shortening of women’s dress at the instance of capitalists and feudal lords for obvious reasons. They would pay women workers less wages and sexploit them and ask them to wear much shorter dress. So the origin of mini-skirts can be easily traced in modern capitalism. In Chairman Mao’s China men and women used to wear baggy dresses. The world knows how anti-religion Mao Tse Tung, the Father of Communist China was.
After all everyone has right to express one’s own opinion and if the Alwar MLA, Banwari Lal Singhal, has written to the chief secretary he has every right to do so. Yes, the girls too have right to protest, but it should have some logic. Yes, boys and girls should be treated equally, but why is it that no school in India or anywhere else had made it mandatory for boys till Class-XII to wear shorts or half-pants. Just try and impose it and one will see how boys will simply reject the proposal. So if boys are asked to come with legs covered what is the problem with girls. If anyone has suggested so what is the problem.
The liberals who are protesting so much in India on just one statement on skirts should know that in the West, where the people has all the freedom––on dress, marriage, eating habit etc––sexual crime is as high or even more than India. Once again all the facts are just a mouse click away. Just go to search engine of Google and find out the difference.
There is nothing wrong in mini-skirts as such if they are worn with full-pants or pyjama. Similarly there is nothing wrong in jeans as such if they are baggy and dressed with full kurta and not the skin-tight one with short and sleeveless tops. Once again jeans were initially a dress for the labour class and the gentlemen would hate to wear. Now the girls die for it.