Sunday, April 15, 2007

Shashi Tharoor & The Saree Saga



Feedback is, of course, the life blood of the columnist, but sometimes you get so much feedback it amounts to a transfusion. That's what happened to your beleaguered columnist (Shashi Tharoor) after the appearance of my appeal to 'Save the sari from a sorry fate' (March 25). Practically every woman in India with access to a keyboard rose up to deliver the equivalent of a smack across the face with the wet end of a pallu. - Shashi Tharoor, Times of India, 15 April 2007

20 comments:

Nandz said...

Ha ha! this one made me guffaw! I had read the original column by Shahi Tharoor and was like "WTF?!"

Vikram Nandwani said...

:) I think the UN guys must be thanking themselves for not electing him...

Guru said...

My response:
http://pujathakur.wordpress.com/2007/04/27/reply-to-shashi-tharoor-by-gurdas-singh-sandhu/

Unmana said...

Ah. Send it to Tharoor. Let him wear saris himself and save us all from his "opinions".

Anonymous said...

tch, tch. all for the sake of a sari! he was only voicing his opinions, people, he did not TELL you to wear it now, did he?
on second thoughts he must be sick of all those bulky women in ill-fitting clothes strutting their stuff about!
i don't agree with him, but i think i have a life unlike you who go about making jokers of yourselves.

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Paul Kooros said...

Dear friends, such a fuss over this! Everyone should wear what they like for their comfort and convenience. There is something to be said however about keeping culture alive. Culture is just as much in clothes as in literature, art, poetry and music. My father, who came from Iran, was lamenting the loss of so much clothes-culture for practical and political reasons. For example, hats: In his youth there were hundreds of different hats, and you could know each man's region and village from his hat. It gave you an connection to people, a community that you could know immediately someone from your home town, or home region. That's what culture is about, connecting people in a unifying fabric (a sari?) they can enjoy for its own aesthetics.

Unfortunately, in Iran, the king's Government made it illegal to wear any hat but the Pahlavi cap, like a French gendarme's hat -- a symbol of modernization, in the fassion of Ataturk. It quickly eliminated an enriching hat culture. I would hope that all good parts of any culture, the enriching parts, can be kept, without being at the expense of practicality and progress. In the case of the king, the oppressed people forced to change their dress were resentful, and rose up against not only the dress, but also regretably against the modernization it represented.

Those who would resist modernization need not be made to feel the threat of losing their culture in the process. The Quebec French feel their culture is so threatened by the English they have "language police," and their stop signs say "ARRET". In Paris, not as threatened, the stop signs say "STOP". Don't underestimate the danger of the reaction of the threatened conservative (e.g. Iran, Geo. W. Bush) to modernization.

How much better to just be free, dress as you like, and still love and cultivate the good parts of culture. Perhaps Shashi Tharoor was being too romantic in wanting to promote the everyday sari. But clothes culture, when not oppressive, is a great treasure; a unifying force in society, giving a sense of common destiny, and a foundation for a bright future.

Love to India from the U.S. - Paul (Denver, Colorado, USA)

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Sure, it might be comfortable, but try wearing that up here in -25C weather with 20cm of snow. Need a lot more "wraps" to keep the blood flowing !!!

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