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Sabyasachi Mukherjee, saree shaming will not cause more women to embrace culture – there is nothing to be ashamed of for not knowing how to drape a saree.
So I just read the speech Sabyasachi delivered at the Harvard India Conference and the way internet stormed to backlash him in every possible way. I was impressed by the way he talked about our roots and culture but at the same time I got offended when he tried to humiliate the Indian ladies for not knowing how to drape a saree.
I firmly believe that there is a huge difference in ‘NOT KNOWING’ how to drape a saree and ‘NOT LOVING’ to drape a saree. I personally know a lot of girls who have no idea about how to drape a saree but at the same time they look for occasions to wear a saree. Come Diwali or marriage season, and social media is flooded with saree pics of every lady, young and old. Today we have an option of relying on the beauty parlours and mommy dearest for dressing us up as opposed to our ancestors who didn’t live in such luxuries. Back then, girls were not even given the liberty to move out alone, forget about going to a parlour. Instead of being ashamed, I am proud of the fact that Indian women have advanced so much to earn such luxuries for themselves. And just a passing thought- Does Deepika Padukone drape the saree herself, that she was applauded?
As humans we have come a long way and as women, a longer one. Humans accepted metal vessels as compared to earthen pots for cooking. We started using LPG instead of fire. We spun fabrics leaving behind the leaves and animal skin. We have fought the battles of sustenance and made a place for ourselves, just because we had the ability to adapt with the changing times. If we continue to do what our grandmothers did, we would have never come this long a way. According to me, we should always respect our culture but never get so engraved in it that we cease to accept the changes around us. Indian women have progressed a lot while respecting the Indian culture. Let’s applaud their efforts of progression and hence, making a place for themselves on the international stage.
A lehenga or ghaghra-choli are equally a part of our tradition and everyone young and old, is embracing it as a quick dress up option for parties and festivals. Why isn’t their love for lehenga applauded by you Mr. Sabyasanchi?
Shaming a person is no way of encouraging them to embrace a particular belief or culture.
If you can’t praise and admire someone, then please don’t condemn them so much so that they lose all respect for you and forget all the good work you have done for ages. Finally, I don’t know how to wear a saree. I am definitely not proud of the fact, but neither am I ashamed of the same.
Published here earlier.