Updated: March 22, 2012 09:33 IST

Modesty of dress and Indian culture

Suchi Govindarajan
Comment (331)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Suchi Govindarajan's viral article on the poor standards of dress sense

Sir/ Madam,

I write to complain about the abysmal standards of modesty I am noticing in Indian society. All bad things — sensationalist TV, obscene movies, diabetes among elders, pickpocketing, dilution of coconut chutney in Saravana Bhavan — are a result of Evil Western Influences. However, to my surprise, in this issue of modesty, even the Great Indian Culture (we had invented Maths and pineapple rasam when westerners were still cavemen) seems to encourage this.

The problem, sir/madam, is that revealing attire is being worn. Deep-neck and sleeveless tops, exposed legs — and these are just the middle-aged priests! Some priests are even (Shiva Shiva!) doing away with the upper garment. And I am told some temple managements even encourage this.

But this is the worst thing. They are doing this in front of ladies and Gods, with no shame at all. Just the other day, I saw a priest without upper garments making an offering to God (which itself is shameful) and then coming out just like that to give prasadam to the ladies. The whole sanctity of the ceremony is spoilt. Plus, what evils may result if they speak to the ladies like that.

You have to worry about a society in which boys and men are allowed to dress this way.

The few who wear full dhoti and kurta are wearing some thin muslin material through which you can clearly see the outline of their underwear and banians and sometimes even read the name of the manufacturer. This is made worse because some young boys are following new fashions and wearing printed underwear in gaudy colours (Karmam Karmam).

Some more modest young people are wearing full pant with shirt and that is much better. However, this Evil Western Invention called zip is encouraging them to answer nature's call at the side of the road in full view of the public.

And what is this abomination called shorts? Is it really necessary that Indian boys need to play sports in which they have to show their legs? I think they can just stick to games like chess and cricket (it's not like they are doing well in other sports anyway). And swimming is another problem. We have a long tradition of bathing with clothes, why should they wear little Speedos just for this? I think it is just an excuse to show off their bodies.

But really, I would like to know what the parents of such boys are doing. Why are they not bringing up their sons correctly? Maybe all this is because of this trend of working fathers, who are neglecting their children for the sake of their careers. My biggest worry is that these boys and men will not be able to get married if they continue like this. Which mother-in-law would like to visit her daughter only to be given coffee by a son-in-law wearing a banian exposing his underarm hair? (And that too, Bru coffee since boys are not taught these days how to make good coffee.)

All this immodesty will also lead to other issues. Once boys realise it is alright to expose, you don't know where it will end. Boys will be out of control.

I propose that we start imposing dress codes on Indian boys and men straight away. A good strategy is to stereotype and call them names based on the way they dress. And also, any time a boy or man is sexually assaulted, we should completely forget about the attacker and instead ask questions like “Ah, but what was he wearing?”

This is the only way we can safeguard our society.

Suchi works as a technical writer. In her spare time, she does freelance writing and editing work and also volunteers with the Spastics Society of Karnataka. She hates misplaced modifiers, logical fallacies and anything made with brinjal. You can follow her on twitter: @suchiswriting

More In: Opinion

Kudos to author. She has replied comments on women dressing in perfect way. Boys stopped wearing dhoti and putting topi on their head, nobody cared about it. But when wants to get rid of uncomfortable dress Sari and opt more comfortable trousers and salwar-kameez, people has lots of cultural issue.
Its too good.

from:  Akanksha
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 11:13 IST

Kudos Suchi, I'm slapped across my face and I'm laughing and loving it. This also shed some light on readers of the Hindu. Initial much male we are and how we cant see truth even if its dance naked in front of us.

from:  Rajdeep
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 10:34 IST

Sarcasm is an act in vain here! Well crafted article, Kudos!!

from:  Rasika
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 22:25 IST

I'd like those who have commented negatively on this brilliant article
to realize that Ms. Govindarajan is using sarcasm to express an
opinion. She very rightly exposes the moral double standards that
exist in Indian society regarding dresses worn by men and women. Girls
should be allowed to wear whatever they want to! Boys, in the same
breath, should be allowed to wear whatever they want to!

I am not subtly alluding to "Western Culture"; I am very overtly
alluding to "Western Culture". This statement might garner immediate
disapproval from the so-called protectors of Indian culture, who
believe that their orthodox viewpoint is sacrosanct. To them, I simply
say this: how, in any sensible measure, is protecting your orthodox
views more significant than protecting individuality and personal

Your's sincerely,

from:  Raghu
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 21:46 IST

Dressing is a personal choice.

from:  Aswin
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 17:53 IST

I appreciate what you have attempted. But, an attempt to address an
issue in humor has gone too awry. Hindu priests? sportsmen? really? It
would have been more worthwhile if you picked on the advertisements of
men underwear or deodorants! I, for one, am personally offended as a
football and brijal lover. Please do write about this topic again,
looking forward to it!

from:  Mahesh
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 16:49 IST

Hilarious!!! to good..

from:  Shrikant
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 16:31 IST

Congrats Suchi.. wonderful punch of sarcasm on the hypocratic standards... Dont know why people cant understand the point the author wants to make - When a topless priest should not & does not bother anyone in the temple & is totally acceptable at the place of worship, why a women without duppatta is asked to leave the que and go get herself a shawl... People should not be concerned with other's clothing style and should mind their own business (worship). The article intends & has successfully pointed out such difference of standards. Pls read it good spirit.

from:  Nidhi
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 16:15 IST

Hilarious... Kudos Suchi :)
Just feel sad that some men just can't accept the whole article in the
right spirit and see the wit behind it. Sadly, people can't accept
sarcasm but only enjoy throwing it back at others...
Feels really sad to see so many chauvinistic people's comments :(
Hindu thanks for publishing this awesome article.

from:  Santoshi
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 15:09 IST

I really envy the brinjal.

from:  Renganath
Posted on: Mar 20, 2012 at 13:22 IST

Based on the comments here from many that are quick to append their
academic credentials to their angry tirades, is it safe to conclude 2
- Sarcasm is a lost art in India
- The exploitation of women is so ingrained that the average male poster
has decided to bark up the culture tree even as the "Gender Double
Standards" tree stands labeled and right next to it with its branches
tickling the poster's neck?

from:  Neeraj
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 22:01 IST

Well written, but has sadly stoked the ego of some humor less

from:  Nivedita
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 18:07 IST

Hilarious piece! Very tongue-in-cheek, although it does expose the
hypocrisy of the Indian government and orthodox hypocritical society.
Would love to read more by Suchi. Also, some of the people who commented
here really need to understand sarcasm.

from:  Arunjana Das
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 18:04 IST

the number of responses - and their indignant tone - to suchi
govindarajan's piece is more eloquent than words - keep writing :-)

from:  ajit
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 14:56 IST

Great article. Though I laughed out loud, it set me thinking on the
state of our moralising netas and hypocritical standards. Would love to
read more by this author.

from:  Anurag Chandra
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 11:50 IST

This article is insightful, hilarious and thought-provoking, all at
once! A delightful read!

from:  Jazz
Posted on: Mar 19, 2012 at 05:09 IST

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.Likewise at times obsenity is in the eyes of the beholder.Temple priests and other men who walk around with no shirt do so not to be erotic.That has been the tradition.Likewise in good old days poor woman street vendors and other poor girls used to wear no blouses. They did not mean to be erotic and people used to pass by them in stride with no evil intention.However when in late 1950s or early 1960s when a Tamil actress appeared in such a way in a movie theme people flocked around to see that movie. There it was deliberate to be erotic. One cannot justify an actress's doing such a thing on the pretext poor women were doing the same.The intentions were distinctly different in the two situations. Poor girls wearing nothing did mean nothing (erotic). An actress wearing nothing did not mean nothing.The actress meant to be erotic. Men wearing no shirts do not mean to be erotic.Of course I do not know their impact on girls,for I am no girl.

from:  T.S.Krishnaswamy
Posted on: Mar 18, 2012 at 21:48 IST

I think it is a very very relevant article! No, the author is not living
in the 70s...she is very much contemporary, and much too aware of the
reality...boys do complain if girls wear revealing clothes! And people
still moralize about pardah and all! Why no such rules for
men..especially for those men who are terribly unhygienic in
disposition, un-self-conscious of their bodies, yet do not mind showing
them around? The article is humorously political..if you see what I

from:  Kaustav Bakshi
Posted on: Mar 18, 2012 at 11:11 IST

Thanks to "The Hindu" for publishing this. Had a wonderful time reading
the article and the comments. The comments, I'd say, were more
interesting than the article itself. Suchi, keep up the good work of
writing provoking articles.

from:  Mahesh
Posted on: Mar 17, 2012 at 13:41 IST

I applaud you for this wonderful article. Your article clearly exposes
the double-standards in our society, which instead of looking forward
and changing itself with the times, is trying desperately to cling on to
a past that was by no means noble or moral as it is made out to be. A
society which was rife with casteism, sati, untouchability and other
such disgraceful practices (which are blatant human-rights violations)
deserves no respect.

from:  Naveen
Posted on: Mar 17, 2012 at 01:54 IST

I am afraid it seems that there is still some time before we Indians
learn to laugh at ourselves. The author is trying to bring out the
hypocrisy of the self appointed custodians of Indian culture and the
impulse of many of us to blame the victim in cases of rape and sexual
assault. It is not meant to demean priests or any other profession.

from:  Vikram
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 23:01 IST

A documentary movie ,shape of the shapeless has bagged the 2nd best
award from Mumbai international film festival this year made by an
Indian Newyorker,Mr.Jayan. This movie reveals the life of John Cory
aka Rose Wood .His business name is John Cory. From morning to evening
he s known as John Cory,an artisan, evening he is a yoga guru, at
night he changes into a female burlesque dancer,Rose wood. There is
one scene in which he is taking Jayan to his mom s place and showing
his strip off dance programs in his laptop to her, what would we
people expect here? A cry from the mother. But was exactly the
opposite .She applauded him and patted him for his great performance.
Don t forget that she was seeing her son s nudity and the very core
sexual actions. He was wearing a beautiful skirt that time and asked
his mom , how s his skirt and did she like it. she said it suits him a
lot and hugged him..I cannot imagine such a mother in
India..fantastically written article.congrats Suchi

from:  athena
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 21:38 IST

Awesome Article!! Even more hilarious are the self righteous idiots who have completely missed the point of the Article! The Hindu should publish more Articles, similarity not being in the content, but the language used.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 20:12 IST

Brilliant! Basically if you replace "man" with woman in this article,
you will get a good idea of how Indian society treats women. Captures
the reality in a twisted, funny way. Suchi is just reflecting a mirror
and exposing the double-standards and hypocrisy. However, the fact is,
sexuality is not just a social phenomena. Fundamentally, it's biology.
Not giving excuses, but generally speaking, man, as an animal, is more
prone to viewing woman as a purely physical object of sex. Generally
speaking, a woman doesn't look at men as merely physical sexual
objects as much as men do. Hence, society has more curbs on women,
since they are the more vulnerable ones. However, with the advent of
modernity, this should change - since science and technology have made
it possible for both to be treated equal. Ours is an evolving society,
and this will take time. As we progress more scientifically, these age
old hypocrisies will tend to vanish. Until then we need to expose &
liberalize,done well here.

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 17:57 IST

Brilliant article :D ROFL Loved the analogies made :D
I can't believe readers of Hindu failed to understand the sarcasm :P

from:  Rajlakshmi
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 16:36 IST

funny piece, but oh lord, what a bunch of verbose self-important indians
many of the comment-ors are. sound like people on some indian english tv
channel debate.

from:  gouri
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 12:34 IST

From the article and the above posted comments, I just have this to say.
Hypocrites and orthodox people have ruined our country. They should not speak.
My message to such people- Live you life silently, grow old and die. Let us live in peace. We are completely modern people with our own set of values. Please do not try to modify it in any manner. When you die, your values will be dead anyway. So, spare us the horror. Also, because of people like you, the country's reputation is at stake.

The government and the judiciary system is already a pain in the a**, people like you make the pain worse.
so, a humble request from a 22 year old normal guy, Shut up and Mind your business.

about the article here, there are a few points which might be true, and some of them are just fragments of imagination.
As an author one should be aware of their influence on the readers and should understand that their words can be the roots of problems at times too.

from:  Sid
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 11:42 IST

If this article had been written about women's dress, all the "offended" commenters above would be agreeing. And priests are talking about comfort and physical work when they themselves expect their wives to wear 6 yards of cloth when they cook and clean. And as a commenter above said, girls who wear full pants and top to a temple are told to wear a shawl on top by a man only wearing a dhoti!

from:  EC Krishnaa
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 11:26 IST

sarcasm, funny, satire, humor whatever..
Probably a brilliant article as some commented..

But a statement like this


any time a boy or man is sexually assaulted, we should completely forget about the attacker and instead ask questions like “Ah, but what was he wearing?”

", which I am sure is meant to elicit laughter, is still a dangerous statement to make.

"Sorry that the girl got molested,but what was she wearing??" - is the reaction of atleast some people of our society on 1st hearing about a molestation/rape of a woman..

Probably that's what the author is trying to convey - the double standards.
Hope so :|

from:  Srj
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 09:53 IST

Loved the article, Read between the lines!!

from:  Vijayeta
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 09:38 IST

Enjoyed the article. Life certainly would be much more fun if we do not
take everything so seriously!

from:  Raj Tupil
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 07:44 IST

Looking at the deluge of comments above that just totally miss the point
of the article: Now who says Indians are brainy?!

from:  Sushant
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 07:43 IST

Suchi's commentary is beautifully crafted and i for one found it incredibly humorous. I am surprised that in this day and age people dont get sarcasm. Maybe they have lost the ability to view the world from any other perspective:)

from:  Meenakshi
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 06:15 IST

Brings forth the hypocrisy of Indian men and culture to light. Time to take wooden sticks and beat up all the naked men... hahaha

from:  Parag
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 02:14 IST

Mindblowing read! Way to go Miss Suchi! That was a brilliant article...
But the thing which made me write this comment here was the list of
remarks and comments that followed. And we thought only people with less
or no education are mostly chauvinistic? It was so frustrating to read
the comments of some people about the article. And i really want to get
into their heads and change mindsets.. Oh how i wish!

from:  Bhaskar
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 01:17 IST

I am shocked to read so many of the comments made against the author.
Just fails me that these people did not get the sarcasm in the article.
Shame really.

from:  tanmay
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 00:42 IST

Good One

from:  Aditya
Posted on: Mar 16, 2012 at 00:24 IST

Hi Suchi, thank you for this piece, it really had me in splits. Though I liked the crafting of the words, the comments are far more illuminating, on the people reading and reacting on this bit, I mean. They cannot suspend their judgement for long enough to read the article and see what you are trying to hit at, forget whether you hit it or missed it. The mere mention of something traditional brings out a rapid or should I say rabid, response citing our glorious tradition and thought and evil western influence and what not. In fact I feel, the real value of what our tradition would have brought us is drowned in the tons of rabid response. This is just a good example of how intolerant we are, cultured or not.

from:  Sridhar
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 22:53 IST

My apologies but can't help seeing that a lot of the negative comments
have come from people of south India. I would just like to the critics
of this article that just by going into denial mode will not make an
issue disappear. If we look at a problem without getting all worked up
about how the priests have been mentioned and what culture we are
going to present our kids, we will see that she is basically bringing
out the fact that we treat the same issue in different manners when
males and females are concerned. How many of the critics here have
commented negatively on males wearing crotch-tight jeans? I can safely
assume hardly anyone. But we do not forget to comment on ladies' ass
crack whenever we get the chance. And what does it say about us males
who look at them with such interest? Are we not equally to blame then?
What more can we expect from a society where we see gay people with
our own eyes but make life hell for an actress just because she said
that it exists?

from:  Suraj Sharma
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 22:24 IST

This is in response to the comment by subramanian:
And u r sitting here and making fun of a shirtless priest, the fact of
the matter is even in those days women wore/still wear sarees and half
sarees which are quite sensual clothes but guys dont make a pass at
that girl because it often reminds him of his mom/sister whereas when
s girl is wearing shorts/mini skirts/drinks he assumes she has no
controls and has loose morals which is quite true in 30% of the cases.
I would like to point out that it is proven that many cases of rape
etc, that occur are on ladies in traditional attire and also
vulnerable school girls in uniforms,and what about more than 40%
molestation done by relatives?? Is it because the men have not seen
their mothers in sarees?? So you agree that if any man has gold in his
house any person attracted to it has the right to steal???? what
logic??? what about small kids treated badly in autos etc by men who
have the responsibility of taking them home from school

from:  Lata
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 20:36 IST

Firstly,let me say that it is amazing to note how many people( very
few) understand a well written, frankly sarcastic article. Main
intention of the article is the double standard of our society against
the dressing of a woman,not to point a finger at our traditions which
is respectable. In a society like kerala, where girls of class
10,wearing simple skirt and shirt are stopped in the middle of the
road by so called 'protectors of culture'(men over age 25),and these
same men can walk around wearing their lungis, as stated by Suchi,it
is a very bold article. By the way in north India men do not come in
front of others without a shirt on,but in kerala it is a tradition for
men to be without shirts,and as a few letters have already stated,
women too went topless here. So the only issue here is why are women
only penalized for choosing a comfortable attire saying that men
resort to misbehavior due to the attire of a woman. She just wants to
say that even men can cause similar feelings...

from:  Lata
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 20:19 IST

Really Witty !! I am actually astonished by some of the comments. It's really scary the way male chauvinism manifests itself at times. Especially when asking women to follow a dress code after a crime is committed and when women are the victims. What's next ? Tell people to not carry their wallets and stay inside the next time someone is pick-pocketed ?!

from:  S Kumar
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 19:05 IST

Brilliant sorry but folks who are taking this as a personal
attack should grow a sense of humor..a super piece!

from:  Ajay
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 18:45 IST

Dear Editor
Please place a "PS : Do not read if you don't understand SARCASM"
before the article. Wonder why some people are so serious and failed
so understand the article for its humorous stand.

Kudos on the hilarious article Suchi People should learn to look at
themselves before making snide remarks like "women should stay at home
after 8 PM "

from:  Monika
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 16:29 IST

Well written and very funny. I must say, i'm surprised by a lot of the comments
though by the readers. As it is said, we desperately need to learn to laugh at
ourselves first and learn from things than straight off fire away and feel offended.

from:  Nayan
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 16:16 IST

Is sarcasm really THAT lost on people?

from:  Shreyas
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 15:54 IST

Diabetes among elders, dilution of coconut chutney in Saravana Bhavan
— are a result of Evil Western Influences.
So if we had no influence rub off on us from westerners our elders
would lead a diabetic free life right!
Yes and Mr.Saravana went to the west to learn how to mix water in
chutney right? Who might have taught him I wonder.
As far as the priest are concerned let them live in piece don’t
include them just so that the word count in your article is
The few who wear full dhoti and kurta are wearing some thin muslin
material through which you can clearly see the outline of their
underwear and banians and sometimes even read the name of the
It’s not like we find pleasure when we come across ass crack of women
sitting behind bikes not to mention the stretch marks (Vomit is
Which mother-in-law would like to visit her daughter only to be given
coffee by a son-in-law wearing a banian exposing his underarm hair?
If a mother-in-law visits and the s

from:  Prashanth
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 15:44 IST

Hahahaaa! Such a witty and clever article!
Unbelievable how so many men have taken offence to it!
The comments are even more hilarious! :D Especially the ^ one! :P

from:  Karishma
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 15:20 IST

"Suchi works as a technical writer. In her spare time, she does
freelance writing and editing work"
In your spare time please do not write something that you do not have an
idea about. You can go through the above posts for why priests do not
wear shirts when performing rituals. May be men lungis and vests is
something that can be pointed out but how and where is it affecting your
life or indian society?

from:  Ranjith
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 13:36 IST

The article looks like the one written in a jiffy with mainly sarcasm
in mind. May be the author was frustrated too much while writing.
This kind of sarcastic article(or funny as said by many above) doesn't
seem like 'The Hindu' material. Such articles are to be placed in a
personal blog (or may be TOI!)
This article makes men wearing a lungi look like a joker!! Kind of
insulting isn't it?
And if the younger generations are to be taught our culture this
article certainly doesn't help! Lungi is worn because we South-Indians
face a highly humid atmosphere and to expect hard-work (certainly not
IT work) in such a condition wearing a suit makes me lol!
This comment may look like a gender biased one, but making my elders
look like a joker when they are performing a highly-respectable work,
I would take it seriously!!

from:  Sujith
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 13:01 IST

The recent news says that girls in Gurgaon can't work after 8pm in pubs
and if they are raped then the govt is not responsible... are we still
in a civilized nation ?

from:  hari
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 12:08 IST

the article is well written but i am not sure what do you want to achieve writing a literary piece or something with substance.

two wrongs never make a right

from:  pushkar
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 12:04 IST

This is as good as anything ! Way to go Suchi!

from:  Abhishek
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 10:56 IST

The article is wonderful and witty....But comments are more
hilarious.......I wonder at the insecurity of men folk in
India...Usually we write about women's dress code but Suchi strikes the
right note and yo see the reaction of my friends.........HHHHHaaaaaaa

from:  Jamsheed Ahmad
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 10:40 IST

The last paragraph says it all...its always the fault of the women who
get raped because they must be provocative in the first place to get
such a reaction from the men....but when talking about gender
equality/empowerment of the weaker sex, men always come up with their
sexual assault cases that are on an uphill nowadays. but never have i
heard the phrase coming up from their side...that it was the guy's
dressing style that may have led to the situation.Hypocrisy has always
been humans' best defense. A witty article.

from:  Mansi Pathak
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 10:22 IST

Brilliant Suchi! Even with very little understanding of Indian culture,
I felt your full meaning. More, more, more!

from:  Claire
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 08:08 IST

This article is not funny nor is intellectual in nature. The author is misguided both in her thought and spirit. Looks like she is very confused about asserting rights for women. Please note that I am not conservative and have always worked in male dominated engineering field asserting my position with confidence and this is always appreciated.

from:  RamaT
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 07:41 IST

Wow!!! Talk about sensibility. Suchi goes ahead and writes a sensible
yet satirical article on how our society resists implementing the same
principles on men that they would happily do on women and what do we
get? People commenting on how illiterate she is, how minimal knowledge
she has of our society and so on. To all those folks, firstly, it is
SATIRE. Try to get it. And secondly, I doubt so many negative comments
would have come if the author had been a male.

from:  Suraj Sharma
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 05:26 IST

Well, All women will love this article. All men might not like this article. Moral of the story: "They" still don't understand. Thats exactly what the author is trying to convey. And the negative comments simply proves the same!

from:  Vinu S
Posted on: Mar 15, 2012 at 01:04 IST

I had a good laugh after reading the article. Some people are saying it's perverted! Great now use this article as a mirror into your own mind...that is why
suchi has written this article. When people get 'shocked' by what girl wears..remember it is your perversion and repression.

from:  Tilopa
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 23:39 IST

great job suchi! For all the people out there with negative comments: please use ur brains :D ... this article is not about men's dress ... it is not even about women's dress ... it is about every social practice that discriminates between men and women. You guys who have become so inflamed by the article are most probably the people who carry on such practices. Thanks to Suchi for pointing out how pathetic and laughable such people are.

from:  A Guha
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 23:36 IST

Satire and Attire at its best ! Actually the article did made me
introspect ( maybe bcos i was in my shorts n banian when i read it :P )
One of the best article in recent times ! Hats off to Suchi ! (Feeling
ashamed even to take my Hats OFF ).

from:  Chandrashekhar Deore
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 22:56 IST

The article and the 260 comments so far received reflects the present state of understanding and appreciation of our values and system among the Hindu readers. The article and the various comments are worth for analysing by the socialogists,psycologisist and market researchers to determine the level of maturity attained by our folks.I have no appreciation for the article,if not condemning it.

from:  KB.Sundram.Tamilnadu
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 22:07 IST

There is nothing wrong in thinking, expressing & writing differently to re-look with an x-ray baring eye at our practices of age-old traditions. Questioning is good. But this article is indeed perverted; but then, what else is joking-material?

from:  RAM SU
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 21:10 IST

I am very much unhappy with this article. This young woman is making
fun of us elders. Especially those of us who conduct various temple
functions wearing nothing on the top. As you very well know,
temperatures go up very high in our temples in summer time, especially
when we do aarti and pooja with homam. We find it difficult to wear
anything on the top when it is so hot. In addition, our jobs also
include manual work sometimes, like breaking coconuts, lifting heavy
milk containers, etc for abhishekams. If the author of this article
were to attend my temple next time, I will ask her to do all these
difficult tasks. Then she will know.
We come from a very old and rich tradition, and it is important that
we maintain the customs that have been passed on from generation to
generation. Already such wonderful things like kudumi, kadukkan,
panchakaccham and madisar are fast disappearing. And yes, the quality
of chutney is definitely going down. Let us not allow it go down any
further. Ok?

from:  RJ Sastrigal
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 20:47 IST

All power to you Suchi! Am sharing it in whatever way I can. This needs to go viral. It
is interesting that in spite of taking this 'women ask for it by dressing indecently'
posture to reductio ad absurdum, many people miss the bus entirely. For those who
write that women did not wear blouses in the 'good old days', will they accept it if a
woman went to a temple without a blouse today? And yet they defend the bare torso
and ungainly underwear of the male priest as tradition.

from:  Mahesh Dattani
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 20:03 IST

I salute the author for coming up with such innovation to throw muck
at these offenders!
Unfortunately, what I noticed in the comment section is rather
hilarious. The people have HARDLY understood the viral sarcasm in the
It simply proves that their brains are in their posterior and hence
such people offend us further by complaining of indecency in women.

Yet again I am sure that most would not understand even this comment
of mine. SAD!

from:  Dimitri Das or Enchanta
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 20:00 IST

A good and well written humorous article no doubt.I have a point to make though: the author doesnt seem to be well informed about coconut chutney of Saravana Bhavan.SB serves getty chutney also on request.Again it depends on what main item you have ordered.If idli, yes diluted variety but if you order pongal invariably getty chutney is served at no extra cost.Mind it please.Please be kind to boys(sons in laws).Some of them are equally proficient in making nescafe as well!

from:  maruthachalam
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 19:16 IST

Reallt nice article !! Hat's of to Suchi !!
But it was the comments that really made my day... Spent an hour in my office going through all the comments. Mind blowing to say the least :P

I think a lot people missed to see the Air quotes in the article, I guess it's time we added Sarcasm to our English lessons...

from:  Mukunthan
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 19:08 IST

A real witty piece, Suchi...loved your way of getting back at society
for its double standards!

from:  S. Dohutia
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 19:01 IST

"even the Great Indian Culture (we had invented Maths and pineapple
rasam when westerners were still cavemen". Is it true? Why can't people
be sensitive to these kinds of comments. Without this statement, the
article can very well convey the mind of the writer. The rest I agree!

from:  edwin
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 18:21 IST

A superb piece of writing Suchi. Those who are nailing your article about the priest bit, are actually the ones who are responsible for this has continued since centuries and with mindsets such as these, will still continue. India still has a lot of work to do to promote gender equality in all spheres.

from:  chetna
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 18:06 IST

This article is hilarious. Suchi, you are genuinely funny. As for the serious comments by some of the readers, I would attribute it to English being our third or fourth language. So we tend to under-appreciate humour and sarcasm.

from:  Arvind
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 18:00 IST

I am in love with you! Aweswome!
I have a question for all the enlightened and knowledgeable
commentators who are going ga ga over Indian Culture and Traditions- I
think we have created our culture ourselves, and it can never be
perfect, because we all are imperfect human beings! Why can't we
listen to other person's contradictory views and and respect their
opinions, when we all know that we are humans and we can never have
perfect policies, ideals, religion, philosophy that will appeal to all
and create an ideal world?
I do not know whether we have a great culture! But we are the biggest
DEMOCRACY in the world!I believe it and respect it!
Great Job! Looking forward to more articles!

from:  nrityanganaa
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 17:40 IST

I fully agree with comments of Mr. Gauri Shanker. Its disappointing that a newspaper of Hindu's calibre published it.

from:  Ramesh.R
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 17:36 IST

Absolutely brilliant article. Sarcasm has never been done in a better way. kudos to the author. Such sophistication is seldom seen these days. A job very well done.

from:  Raghavendra
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 17:26 IST

I think it's a hilarious post. Good job Suchi. Don't listen to the
morons who can't enjoy a good piece of writing.

from:  Deekshita
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 16:40 IST

Excellent article. I seriously fail to understand why so many people above even read the Hindu. Our society is not just strangely patriarchal, but has serious double standards and are rather hypocritical about it.
Just today, the Gurgaon police passed that women should not be out after 8pm. They would rather pass such ridiculous statements instead of actively trying to prtoect them.

The men who commented against this article are either really closed-minded or don't understand sarcasm.

from:  Damien Dedauls
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 16:39 IST

It is okay when each and every person is very handsome evoking admiration from those around. But unfortunately God's creations are not all equal and some are ungainly. Look at the long-winding queues in some famous temples ! Even the deity would likely ask them to stand at least modestly dressed. Who said God wants them to pray standing half naked. (If half-naked is very effective, why not reap the maximum benefit by standing full naked ?). Obviously, the upper class temple managers and priests make fools of the devotees. The day is not far off when devotees will decide for themselves. In Kerala, something like the 'Temple Entry Proclamation' is overdue in the matter of dress etc uniformly for all temples, including Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram and Sri Krishna Temple, Guruvayur.

from:  P.G.Nayar
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 16:37 IST

Well done, Suchi. Your awesomely written article unveils the hypocrisy
of our patriarchal society. Keep going.

from:  shafeek salman
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 16:31 IST

Really apt piece but some of the comments are starting to scare me. Are people THAT dense or is the problem that deep?

from:  Apranta
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 16:30 IST

Seriously - *that* many people do not get satire? I thought the article
was nice - but reading through the comments were hilarious :)

from:  Sameer
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 16:27 IST

Well done Suchi! Brilliant, thought provoking read. Kudos to the editor too for publishing this - another reason why i will always choose The Hindu over the times of India. Keep up the good work.

from:  Namita K
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 16:21 IST

Suchi, Excellent work! it was hilarious and THE HINDU! thanks for publishing this.
To certain people above, enjoy the sarcasm please.

from:  Shilpa
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 15:51 IST

Haven't read anything as powerful, with razor sharp wit in a long time :)

from:  Kuntala Sengupta
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 14:54 IST

Brilliant Article!! Way to go Suchi!! Kudos to The Hindu for
publishing this one.

For all "guardians of Indian culture and tradition" who are
criticizing the article, well, you've missed the point.
People talking of various forms of GOD, religion, Ramayanam ,
Mahabharatham, culture, ancient history are just exhibiting the deep
rooted Hypocrisy and Double Standards that are part of the society.
No wonder our people have been discriminating against women for ages.

The comments are Hilarious, what a magnificent display of hypocrisy!!

from:  Yash
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 14:54 IST

Seriously, why are men so desparate to be right always ! Get a life guys, the article addresses a much deeper issue than time honoured traditions.

from:  Rituparna
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 14:51 IST

ROTFL Suchi!
My guide used to say that feminists and dalit writers would fare much
better if they wrote with a sense of humour! Your article would have
made him very happy.
However, looking at the comments - I doubt if he was right. some people
can't recognise sarcasm even when it's dancing naked (or shall I say -
immodestly dressed?) in front of them!
Way to go girl!

from:  Shraddha
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 14:39 IST

It's interesting how people can get defensive over such satirical
"accusations". One can wonder that when people blackball the writer(who has addressed a very serious issue about gender hypocrisy in a clever
way) and fail to realize the true reason behind such an article, what is
a bigger concern; the fact that many don't acknowledge the presence of
the big problem or the rigidity and blind unquestioned defence for
cultural norms.

from:  Vinit
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 14:00 IST

An excellent read. And many males have reacted the exact way one would predict them to. How come they find the author's observations oo ridiculous to be published, even as they don't hesitate to moral police women on they very same grounds?

from:  lakshmi
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 12:45 IST

Absolutely loved the article. It totally nails the point. In-fact the
naive and negative comments make the author's case stronger. One of the
comments also, innocently, makes a profound statement saying "The bad
thoughts lie in our minds and not in the bodies" and still fails to see
that that is the very point of the piece. I wish the author all the best and look forward to more pieces like this that "kill it softly"

from:  Ritwik Borthakur
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 12:31 IST

Rarely do we see an article whose comments are longer than the article
itself!! Brilliant and witty! loved the way the author brought out
comparisons and striking points in our double standards society!Even
funny are the self righteous comments by well learned men!! There is
such thing called sarcasm too!
Liked the article! kudos!

from:  Ram
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 12:07 IST

Brilliant article suchi.. its sad that many a man could not understand
the sarcasm and humor intended. kudos to the post and special kudos to
the person who published this bold article!! Awesome read.. i was
left in peels of laughter..

from:  Seethalakshmi Ramachandran
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 11:02 IST

This is such a superb (!) article...
Well done!
What is even more interesting is how so many of our male counterparts are unable to stomach the sarcasm in the writing... so many reasons to justify a shirt-less priest, ha ha ha...

from:  Madhusmita Hazarika
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 10:56 IST

Thats a brilliant piece.
People fail to realise that this article found its way to the hindu thanks to the virality it got on facebook.
No point in even trying to explain to the folks who didnt get the satire, thats like trying to explain a keshav cartoon with words.

Keep writing suchi

from:  Venkat
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 10:51 IST

Where were you till now???? trust me I have been laughing my lungs out reading this article. Never mind the comments you have been getting from the lesser mortals (who didnt get the wit). Life is not a cake walk for women in our society and why the hell should we alone be subjected to moral codes and conducts? You simply rock and well done. By the way you should have added one more thing...the underarm odour that these lesser mortals have and they still believe that getting dangerously closer to a woman on the bus would 'excite' her?? eh?? tch tch...they should be bathed off their sins, nastiness and lecherous conduct, while they are being scrubbed of their exterior dirt.On a serious note, 'man'kind has no end to its desire to pull the 'woman'kind down. Remember, if we went down, we would go down with them. And for God's sake, get rid of that smirk on your face because if life doesn't get easier for us, it wouldn't be easier for you too (remember Newton's third law?? I hope you do).

from:  Pallavi
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 10:40 IST

Wonderful read! The sarcasm and humour hopefully don't overpower the
message behind it.

Comments are quite interesting too. I suppose it would help to note that exaggeration is a tool to deliver satire and the author has used that

from:  Pramod Raghavendran
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 10:39 IST

Deeply disappointed with The Hindu published such ridiculous article!

from:  Deepak Kumar R S
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 09:57 IST

A wonderful read. Its quite sad that many people didn't grasp the real
essence of the story and stared pulling Ramayanam and Mahabhartam to
support topless men. Wake up people. When i wear a jeans and a t shirt
(clothes that cover me from top to bottom), Iam being criticized for being engulfed by the western civilization. But a middle aged aunty, in a saree with her back and stomach seen and her cleavage being put well in to display every time she bends is actually considered to be traditional. This society should change. If my parents think what i wear is decent may it be a shorts or a sleeveless t shirt, I think it is more than enough for me. In a society where guys are allowed to wear whatever they want, why just restrict us. Why blame the women for all the assault and rapes. Don't women in saree and chudidhar never get raped. Are these costumes too provocative or is it time the guys(only intended to the rapists) learnt a little respect towards women and SELF CONTROL in particular .

from:  Arathi
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 09:14 IST

Its not the woman who dresses incorrectly, its the society who views her
incorrectly.. and then conveniently imposes restrictions.. Hypocrisy is
second name for mindset of people here... and the comments also prove
it. Suchi, great work!!

from:  Smita
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 09:07 IST

Hello Suchi,There are more things these Indian men do in public - look at the villagers working in their fields without tops and showing off their masculine bodies and legs,ah! Look at the dhobis washing our clothes at dhobighat,ah! Look at the cooks cooking delicious feast in Kalayana Mandapam - horrible and they show this in movies also without shame!! Even Gods are not clothed properly and many times they are wearing only jewellery, that too imitation!! When are we going to learn modesty in public life? I think we will never do! That is meant for women only!

from:  Rajendran
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 09:03 IST

I like similar, identical and unicolour-uniform dress for all human beings. What a refreshing subject early in the morning to enjoy the day.

from:  Bhanumurthi
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 08:41 IST

Wonderful read! Good laugh. What a double standard against women in
India. Thanks Hindu for publishing this.

from:  Anu Dixit
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 08:14 IST

(we had invented Maths and pineapple rasam when westerners were still cavemen) .. This is the example of perfect stereotypical women of India .. Why would you ever take up math and rasam when you are taking about Men's dressing sense... How could ever miss mentioning about KamaSutra! (When will Indian women start discussing about sex ??)

from:  Aravind Govindan
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 07:49 IST

Excellent article! Kudos to Suchi for bringing to light some very deep-rooted issues in such a light-hearted manner. especially loved mention of dilution of coconut chutney in HSB in the first line! :)

from:  Yamini Vasudevan
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 06:27 IST

Excellent approach to challenging entrenched beliefs in a more palatable way than boring moral postulation: satire a la John Daily show and Cobert Report. Glad to see new Indian writers taking up this literary style, it's about time India/ns woke up to double standards through self-critical humour. I do hope Suchi is only the tip of the iceberg in reviving India's brilliant introspective self-critical questioning literary tradition towards social conscience and balance of power. Kudos!

from:  Mira
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012 at 02:24 IST

A considerable amount of confusion as evident from the number and variety of comments. One can however can not take away the amount of enthusiasm and interest the author has been able to generate among the readers. I take it just as a dig at the males in the society and nothing more.I would however give her the credit for such a witty and thought provoking writeup. We must be largehearted to take on a dig or two from the fairer sex. I for one feel that albeit slowly, the society particularly in India, is changing for good in bringing the much sought equality among both sexes. This, is feel is a good and welcome sign. How many women really want to be treated equally along with men is another question. I for one know a lot of women who want the best of both as per their convenience. But that is a matter for another writeup and fodder for the women rights activists!!!!

from:  J Sudhakar
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 21:55 IST

True ours is a patriarchal society.True no one really take into
account the way men dress.But to juxtapose the scenario prevailing in
our society what is the necessity to bring in the temple priests? It
was asinine and irreverent as many had already told.There were some
points pretty much relevant to the topic like some guys showing off
their gaudy underwear colors but opinions like shorts should not be
worn even for sports is absurd.And just because of them guys should
not play sports which requires them to wear shorts? What kind of
absurdity is that?

from:  Keerthana
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 21:42 IST

While the article is hilarious (congratulations Suchi on your terrific sense of satire - you should apply to The Daily Show by Jon Stewart on The Comedy Channel), the comments from the humorless and the plain dense folks is even more hilarious. Enjoyed it all.

from:  Venkat Devarajan
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 21:18 IST

There is something called Cultural difference.... even today some female in africa don't wear upper garment.
If the author forgets such cultural difference i think she will make norway's point correct going by neglecting our culture.
And for your point nowadays there no more people(except those male who do hard labour without shirt) and asking them to wear a shirt n do their job is the most cruel thing you can inflict on them in our climatic condition. many IT companies exempt a tie for 4 months of summer. I don't know why the article has not dealt with women wearing nighty all time.

from:  jc
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 21:18 IST

Just imagine the author as a male. I am sure all these furious comments
will turn into applause.

Come on! get out, get some air and read again.. You will find it
And to be frank, I laughed more when I read the comments. Good work

from:  Jose
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 20:37 IST

great article...comments are even more the self-righteous deluded nonsense those great interpreters on indian traditions,weather,zips and what not are spewing out as 'feedback' ...hahha...maybe write the next article explaining sarcasm,satire and so on...but great read and spot on observations!

from:  puja
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 20:00 IST

A beautiful article. First I really didn't understand but after
substituting him with her, boy with girl, Father with mother in the 7th
paragraph as given in a comment above, I really got the humour.
Hats off to Hindu.
Let more applauds come for this article.

from:  Akshay R
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 19:03 IST

Nice satire. Not so nice comments. Only proves one thing - most of us don't have a
sense of humor. Or the ability to laugh at ourselves. Dear Hindu, please don't
succumb to those that do not like the article and end up removing it. Suchi, make
your satire more droll. We shall enjoy that better. The rest don't matter. In any case
as they did not understand. So go ahead - be more acerbic!

from:  shalini rawla
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 18:59 IST

I think this is one of the articles which got the highest number of
comments. A few number of people exists in a large crowd with oddly
dressed. Almost in every village in south India, men wear lungi in dabba
style, it is being followed from hundreds of years. Can't we say men are
wearing better than women nowadays.

from:  Madhu
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 18:57 IST

Fellas.....Its called SARCASM, just in case you missed it....

from:  Thomas
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 18:56 IST

Brilliant article Suchi!! Hillarious.. but the comments of the people who failed to see the sarcasm are funnier!!!

from:  gargee
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 18:37 IST

Epic! Very nicely written.

from:  Sundarram P.V.
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 18:02 IST

I knew this was not your usual open space rant the day I read it. Congratulations Ms. Govindarajan for writing something which works way better than all the "slutwalks" and the "pink chaddi" campaigns or whatever it is our "designer feminists" are thinking of coming up with.

Why didnt anyone think of it before?

My favourite: "Is it really necessary that Indian boys need to play sports in which they have to show their legs? . I think they can just stick to games like chess and cricket (it's not like they are doing well in other sports anyway). "

Bang on target!

from:  deffleppard
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 17:50 IST

The article was absolutely brilliant! Some of these self righteous
comments with the 'inverted commas' are quite hilarious :P No wonder we
are all in the condition that we're in right now! Sheeeesh!!!!

from:  Danielle
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 16:39 IST

Awestruck! This satire throws light on why the Indian society is labelled, 'a male-dominated society'. None can deny it. Even the author Suchi has depicted the same in why the bar raises only when women are scantily clad. Even the picture used here is an apt citation where women are treated as mere objects! The comparison given with that of the clothing of the priests might hurt the sentiments of few 'religious-centric' Indians as seen in some of the comments. But, in fact, it is a very good comparison! I am eager to see the light on the day when India is no longer 'branded' as 'a male-dominated society'.

from:  Raghav
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 16:17 IST

My second comment here. Came back to this article just as I would go back to a good book and re-read it for the simple pleasure one can derive from a good read. Checked the comments again of course. Thought I noticed a slant away from the negative in the recent comments, so I did a quick check and found that almost 75% of all the comments are positive. My math is not as good as my English, but hey, 75% plus minus something is still encouraging - the point being, most of those responding love the article and the way it conveys its message. Well done fellow-commenters (the majority type), Ms. Suchi Govindarajan and The Hindu - hope we get to read much more from you and your ilk.

from:  Rajeev Iyer
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 16:11 IST

Please visit Tribal areas of Chhatisgarh, Orissa or A& N island & do research on the "Dress-code" of tribal men & women. You will realize the reality of Life. God has not sent anyone in any "decent' dress or attire. It is upto any individual to think in a particular perspective. Perhaps your eyes or attention during visit to temples may not be focussing on the purpose for you visit the temple,rather you focus on all "bare" things & "evil" thoughts.
Whether the author is aware about meaning of "Sivalingam" & we offer puja in Siva temple. There is a story on Sivalingam puja which the Author should read,Whether she can avoid going to Siva temple?

Hindu religion has been the most "Tolerant" & "Patient" & "Cool" ( for modern peole) religion with liberty to anybody to criticize anything whether prayer style, methods ,priests,Idol worship, rituals etc. If anyone go through the Vedas or Work of V Jayram on Hindu religion, they can get the interpretation of everything including "dress

from:  rajeev
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 16:04 IST

Actualy this article reminds me of my great aunt, then in her late sixties, seing a topless man and sighing "why can't I do that" ? :)

from:  Anita
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 15:25 IST

Brilliant satire. The comments are the best part though. Next article? The dimness of wits and Indian culture.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 14:34 IST

First off,great article Suchi!!!Brilliant! And moving to more troubling issues...what's the matter with half the crowd in here??In spite of repetitively being told that the article showcases the double standards in our society,albeit sarcastically, people are still coming up with things like 'disrespect for culture','feminism' and what not!!
Why can't they seem to draw paralells from what they are seeing on an everyday basis?While the article was brilliant, the responses indicate that our society needs to grow up!Somehow, being educated is not enough to apply common sense..the responses are testimony to that.

from:  Renju S Kumar
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 13:36 IST

If you could not smile while reading this article, here is a tip: Read it again. Start from Paragraph 7. This time, just replace boys with girls, fathers with mothers, men with women, his with her, and so on. Doesn’t this article seem more agreeable to you now??? There we go! This 'change in mindset based on the subject’s gender' - is what Suchi is writing about!!
Brilliant piece of writing! Thank you, The Hindu. I love this newspaper even more now.

from:  KVManjusha
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 13:04 IST

Bravo! Brilliant Article! The comments are hilarious. It just proves
that education doesn't make a person intelligent or smart.

from:  Lins
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 12:55 IST

One word: BRILLIANT!!
As for the people responsible for the brickbats on the author and The
Hindu, I'll define a word for you - Sarcasm: The ability to insult idiots without them realizing it.

from:  Saksham Khurana
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 12:35 IST

the article is meant to be sarcastic!!! hinting at the double standards regarding clothing of men and woman. It should be taken in a lighter sense.
I think the failure from the part of author was she could not package it properly.

from:  mohan
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 12:15 IST

Madam - Do you know what Indian tradition and culture is? I am surprised
that you wrote such an article without thoroughly
understanding/analyzing our culture. It is in Indian tradition for men
not to wear anything on their upper body while making ablutions to God.
All our epics(Ramayan and Mahabharatam) support this fact.
Please take back your comments on priests. I would advise that you turn
atleast a page in our epics before even uttering the word "tradition"

from:  Prathyusha
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 08:08 IST

Brilliantly funny and meaningful article! Proud of you Suchi, but saddened to see comments which are completely oblivious to what you're saying, and in such a good way.

from:  TA
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 07:58 IST

@Sinduja Ragunathan: ha ha ha!!!!
Well said by Suchi!!!!!
A roller coaster article for the (male dominated)indian society....
No words!!!! The list of above comments speak more than my comment...Whether the comments were negative or positive, u made them read the article.....

from:  pradeep Harikrishnan
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 05:28 IST

A very impressive read. The sarcasm cuts through the mind of the reader.
Its sad how our so called learned Indians have a long history of
diminishing the integrity of the weaker sex. I hope this kind of read
opens up the mind of new generation cause i have personally lost faith
in the older ones.

from:  Lobo
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 03:11 IST

I am amazed at how readers of The Hindu , men especially, miss the point in this brilliant article! Probably, it could be out of reach for their grey matter to even attempt conceptualizing a non patriarchal world!

from:  Johny Tom
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 03:01 IST

It is much more fun reading the aggrieved comments. Apparently some don't understand what a satire is all about. satire (noun) : a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn

from:  Arul
Posted on: Mar 13, 2012 at 01:03 IST

Clever. Very Clever.
The last part is the punch. I used to think do we still have Tenali Rama or Birbal like people still around to make "the dumb" think.
So now on "What were you wearing dude?" make a lot of sense :).

from:  senthil
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 23:33 IST

Thank you Suchi Govindarajan for such a wonderful article. Thanks too to The Hindu for choosing to publish it knowing that some of your readers cant even realize what the author is highlighting.

from:  JoeKidd
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 23:24 IST

hahahah i think this is an extremely well written article. Hits the nail right on the head and does so with all the humor of a good khushwant singh novel! these double standards that exist in idia are abundant if only one looks around with wide open eyes. The country from where kamasutra originated bans pornography and sex toys. A society which allows men to urinate on the roads but ostracises a girl for wearing a short skirt. Its really so sad that its funny.

from:  Yajas
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 22:57 IST

the sarcasm intended in the article is of the weak form and what's
mentioned in the article is somehow hackneyed. It mentions that the
author hates logical fallacies. That would be an irony .I doubt the
merit of the author because if the article was intended to bring to
light the double standards in men-women dressing code (which will be
different by default given the difference in body and attitude towards
the opposite sex) then the article is simply redundant.

from:  jayadrath
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 22:09 IST

Brilliant Article. Good use of Sarcasm.

The comments by many proves the authors theory on double standard by the society.

from:  Arul
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 22:05 IST

Read it after being shared on FB by one of my friends. Hilarious one just couldn't stop laughing ! Point well taken and for the prejudiced society such as ours it surely would take more subtlety than this to hope for any sort of change.

from:  Senthil Raghunathan
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 21:53 IST

Fantastic article. What a slap on the faces of all those men who think girls wearing western outfits can be obstrasized.
Hats off to the writer for coming up with such a cleverly written peice.
And the comments on the article, by those who didn't even understand what was being spoken about, are hilarious!
Have already become a fan of this lady.

from:  Smaran
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 21:52 IST

P.S.: After I did send my comment, I just saw that the latest comments do claim, that the article was an humorous persiflage against prejudice- not celebrating the prejudice.
IF this was so, than its not easy to guess if ur english isnt perfect (but I immediately said "whether the article is an joke....)and mine isnt.
But the problem is, that many people really still think this way, and many similar statements I read in my life have been meant very seriously. So, sorry, if I understood it wrong or wasnt sure about. The article, serious or not, deals with widespread views.

from:  Guenter
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 21:48 IST

Yes, the point is well made and pleasantly presented. No doubt, we
cannot support misbehaviour of men towards people who wear modest
clothes. It is unpardonable. But, at the same time, can we allow our
teenaged youth to wear skimpy clothes at home or any other place? The
point is to educate the children / people to wear clothes as per the
environment, society and surroundings.

from:  Ramasesha Rao
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 21:31 IST

is her comment and attitude applies to our great Mahatma Gandhi also. Where Gandhi attire lead to simplicity. I think people should stop thinking like well frog.

from:  bhanu
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 20:37 IST

Women envy the casual and comfortable attire of the bare chested guys for good reason: this is a tropical country !

Importing foreign cultures without a thought, we have imported this idea of "shame" with bare chestedness. Look at the Ajanta/Ellora cave sculptures, no bra's were worn those days. The 'bra' is a western invention and even the west has discarded it by now (almost). In the hot tropics women should not wear bras. Let there be more equality then, if not transparency ! :)

from:  Paavi
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 20:25 IST

Excellent...if its a sarcasm

from:  Rags
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 20:21 IST

Dear Mr Siddharth Varadarajan ,
Am deeply anguished and dissapointed that this article has been published and a criminal drain on the editorial page. This letter does not qualify to be published in any news paper. Pl dont repeat this.
kind regards, Kuppuswamy (HIndu reader since Age 12, now 37)

from:  kuppu
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 19:58 IST

Ms. Suchi Govindarajan, I would like to see your creativity bringing out
similar articles against the way men dress in other religions as well
ex:Islam, Jainism, etc. Why do you want to stop making fun of only Hindu
men? You can be much more popular!!

from:  Mangesh
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 19:31 IST

A very tongue in cheek article by Ms Suchi govindarajan. She has exposed
the hypocricy running deep in the Indian society. She wants to convey
that women should be allowed to dress in whatever clothes they feel
comfortable and it should not provoke ridicule

from:  Michael Mangalam
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 19:25 IST

This author i guess is writing in favor of fashion industry selling sex to men and clothes. I consider my self as atheist / agnostic and also Freeconomist (new word ),who does not believe much of modern ways including living without money. We do need to go for our needs and not for our greed to solve much of our present day problems. We all were born nude so why not remain nude unless to protect our self from winter and not match dresses specially at religious places. The author is encouraging revenge attack on men cause some women are attacked for wearing revealing clothes (eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth).

from:  Dsouza Frederick
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 19:03 IST

Sarcasm at its best. Brilliant!!

from:  Tirthankar Banerjee
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 18:56 IST

Forget about understanding the double standards, many don't seem to
understand the point being made! Analysing this kind of article word
by word !!!! Oh boy! Kudos Suchi, Your style reminds me of Localteaparty!

from:  Saravanan M
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 18:45 IST

@To all the folks who lands at the top of this comment
Congratulations. Why ? Those of you who think you got a gold medal for recognising sarcasm and anachronistic delusions, I have only a smile for you.
Maybe the jist of Suchi's article could be sarcasm, but the article has not been "packaged" properly.
If you are eating a good meal and you want to take it quickly - can you mix the sambar and payasam and eat it in one go.
That is what the article is.

from:  Jayakrishnan Rajendran
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 18:25 IST

How can someone say stop playing games and swimming just because they wear shorts. How can the author say Indians are not doing good in games other than chess and cricket?? How can an Indian athlete compete wearing long pants with his international rivals where they wear the most advanced jersey fiting which is short & tight to their body to reduce the drag.
This article is written without thinking or by a person who hasn't been exposed to the reality of life. I personally feel the author should be educated and openminded.Otherwise we'll read more articles with these kind of baseless statements in future. It's a shame on the Indian media. I'm surprised to see this published in one of our leading newspaper.

from:  Midhun KM
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 18:17 IST

I thought the article was really funny and then I read the comments!

Dilution of chutney in Saravana Bhavan is really appalling. We cannot
let this happen any longer ...

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 18:02 IST

One word: Respect!

PS: Had me in splits!! Now this is why I love this newspaper.

from:  Beena
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 18:01 IST

I completely enjoyed reading this article. The author has conveyed double standard prevelant in our society with good sense of humour. Good work! Keep it up!

from:  Seshan Sundaram
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 17:00 IST

y cant some people take a joke???? the artical is just for fun....duh!

from:  sowmya
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 16:46 IST

Good one Suchi !!
Most of all 'coconut chutney' ! Can't agree with you more. consistency of chutney is competing with the rasam ! Ridiculous !!
Also,I cannot understand why priests cannot wait till the cotton threads are woven into a full shirt! They just wear a few strands of thread as a replacement for a modest shirt ! May be 'muhurtam time' will run out otherwise.
And on special occasions in full view of all ladies these men wear 'vastrams' made of "pattu"...which leaves nothing for imagination when they shower on it during rituals!! (pun intended)

from:  Pani
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 16:39 IST

Brilliant Suchi! I absolutely loved this article. It makes the point without turning offensive, each point is a gem and had me in splits. Please keep up with this good work, the custodians of modesty need to be shown a mirror. For some readers who took am offense, may want to try an exercise - Just replace the masculine gender used in the above article with the feminine gender, and you would find yourself agreeing to everything written in this article.

from:  Sumit V
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 16:40 IST

Please add disclaimer "The views expressed here are restricted to
Feminist alone."

from:  Enoch Rufus
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 16:33 IST

Hilarious article. I must say I enjoyed reading the comments even more.
Some people wouldn't get humour if it was banged into their heads with
an iron(y) bar.

from:  Ganesh Prasad
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 16:31 IST

Great article !!!
Interesting to see the kind of emotions it evoked.
Some of them even go on to talk about "traditional" blouse-less saris
being worn in olden days. Would love to see their reaction when they see
a girl wearing this "traditional" dress.
Also, since amount of skin-exposure seems to be the crucial point in the
molestation cases now-a-days, I [hope] that we hear a case of guy
getting molested for wearing a half-folded dhoti !!!

from:  Madhu
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 15:56 IST

Women envy the casual and comfortable attire of the bare chested guys for good reason. This is a tropical country !

Importing foreign cultures without thinking through it has brought this idea of "shame" with bare chestedness. Look at the Ajanta/Ellora cave sculptures, no bra's were worn those days. The 'bra' is a western invention and even the west has discarded it by now (almost). In the hot tropics women should not wear bras. There is no need to be ashamed of armpit hair either. Those expensive cosmetics many women buy these days to remove armpit hair, are harmful too.

from:  Kaavi
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 15:49 IST

Oh my God!! suchi, you just nailed it..LOL..awesomely written article..your article cut through the hiporicy of indian men very smoothly..their ego has been crushed without any blood or bruises.The article wonderfully shows the truth about the present society's thoughts.

from:  Sahithi
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 15:12 IST

Brilliant satire! I have to say the comments from some clueless men have
further validated the article! Honestly, if any reader thought the
intent was to insult our 'culture' and 'tradition' then I am deeply
sorry to inform you that your education is grossly inadequate. And just
to be clear I am NOT being sarcastic!

from:  Seema
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 15:09 IST

Nice article for all feminists like me. Happy to see a lot of men writing in support of it as well.
I want to also add the extreme difference with which the bride and bridegroom are treated in a south brahmin wedding. While the bride is expected to be covered up from head to toe with not a pin out of place, the bridegrooms go about their wedding duties, semi nude (just like the priests) showing their branded undies through their dhotis!
And some traditions don't change for the better(even though they may not make sense in the current age).

from:  Poornima
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 14:54 IST

Good read

from:  devs
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 14:44 IST

This is such a lovely satirical piece.. :D
Although funnily dangerous how only men haven't understood that it is
pure sarcasm!

from:  Gayathri Menon
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 14:38 IST

Suchi, I appreciate you for being bold enough to write your thoughts in a sarcastic but focused way. I am not sure, whether Hindu is trying to is provoke a kind of gender centric conflict in the society. In my opinion, irrespective of you believe it or not, male domination is designed by nature in certain aspects eg.,Physical strength to protect the wife and children from other natural forces.
So quite naturally, if everything has to function in harmony, we need to follow certain norms. Here, Men has to be fathers and women has to be wives and daughters. Yes, ofcourse, Mother is the first God any kid prays. If everyone acts according to their wish, just pandemonium remains. It is good, if an element of society just performs its owns duty without causing turbulence among other elements. Yes, if in case, the number of social crimes increase because of such acts, they need to be abandoned.
Technically, the view point right that every human being has their right to choose. But not morall

from:  Udayakumar
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 14:34 IST

@ Rajeev Iyer- I can see the brilliant understanding you derived out of
the article.

@ Meera- Care to explain the article in short?

@ Vithya- People will say what they want. I just wonder how jobless we
have to be to wonder about what such people say.

from:  Pratyush
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 14:30 IST

a great humourous way of showing the social inequality in mindset regarding the two genders. great work suchi.

from:  chinta nitin
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 14:24 IST

Well written satire.

from:  S R Parthasarathy
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 14:12 IST

Its plain sarcasm said in an explicitly funny manner. If any of the
readers have a funny bone, they will clear see through the article to
what Suchi is hinting at and that is the way that the society sees men
through their attires and sees women by their attires. And the
Mr.Sheldon Coopers here apparently cant see the message through the

from:  Issac
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 14:02 IST

Sarcasm should be made compulsory in schools. I can't believe The Hindu
readers are unable to get the point of this article.

from:  Meera
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:55 IST

What does the author want to convey?...nobody is forcing to her to follow Western culture and attire. Even dilution of chutney in Saravana Bhavan has it got something to do with Western Culture! or maybe i have misunderstood ..

from:  Joe Joseph
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:52 IST

Thanks to The Hindu and a bigger thank you to Ms. Suchi Govindarajan for a lovely article written with humour and attacking the prejudices against women from a really entertaining angle.
One can really see nothing to write against such an article, but from the comments against it, one can only draw two conclusions - one that the prejudices are deeply embedded and two, that many of us can read an article written in English, but not understand it!

from:  Rajeev Iyer
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:49 IST

Seems like all these guardians of Indian culture and tradition have never heard of satire or sense of humour...!! Fantastic article..!!

from:  Hemal
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:42 IST

It's rarely anything that The Hindu has to say interests me. This one
was an exception. But most comments proved why most of its readers are
still in some kind of time limbo.

from:  Shakeel
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:42 IST

Just the other day, I saw a woman without dupatta in the temple (which itself is shameful) and then walking just like that amidst men to get prasadam from the priest. The whole sanctity of the ceremony is spoilt. Plus, what evils may result if they speak to the men like that.

Isn't this a common dialogue among the "uncles" in our society? That's what the author is trying to say albeit in a very sarcastic manner.

Kudos to Suchi for the attempt, and to The Hindu for publishing the article.

from:  Vithya
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:38 IST

Here's a quote from an old Tamil movie song: "Hey folks, times are changing! And so are fashions! Sleeveless blouses. What next? blouseless sleeves -- eh?" As for Ms. Suchi's "viral article," I too appreciate the artistry in her banter, but cannot accept the sophistry in her argument about double standards in men's and women's clothing, which implies the need for "single standard" and demands equality between the sexes in matters of dress. The anatomical exposure of women in public places is, and will always be, different from that of men in similar places. The more the exposure, the more a woman risks falling on "evil eyes." Sheer commonsense must prevent the fair sex from inviting an assault on her "immodest" physique. If freedom in dress alone is their concern, and how this freedom impacts on the other sex is not, the future will only bring more and more news of victims of rape and molestation. Equality in exposure is not something to be vied with.

from:  L.R.Govardanan
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:33 IST

Your concern is genuine only in a few situations on which you
elaborated.The one related to a son-in-law offering coffee to his
mother-in-law in vest.I think you greatly misinterpreted the dress
code in sports. Shorts little Speedos are worn so that one feels
comfortable while indulging in these activities. The justification
provided by you on sexual assault is really embarrassing.I am sure you
will blame the woman if the same case happened with her. Doesn't she
has the freedom to wear whatever she likes instead of bothering about
what people say? Talking about your viewpoint on the zip in the pants,
the western people who invented this thing does not commit such
foolish things. So if some portion of Indian population do such
things, it's not fair to blame the west for that.You should not blame
the entire man class citing the reason that some are not modest.
Everything has pros and cons. It's up to us on what we focus.You
should open up your thinking and focus on positive aspects too.

from:  Abhishek
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:29 IST

I think the comments section is most appropriate and funnier. You've hit the right chord, Suchi.

from:  rukhiya
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:28 IST

The responses here are telling: more than anything else, so many
readers have no sense of humour whatsoever. To fail this much at
recognising sarcasm, and to be so blinded by defensiveness... Grow up,
for crying out loud.

And to those people who think they can control women as property,
deciding what they can wear and think and do: put simply, you will not
win. Women are gaining greater courage and freedom by the day.
Traditions are not excuses to oppress one half of the human race.
Believe it or not, doing things for a thousand years - or two, or
three - does not translate into doing things right. Why are you so

Suchi, thank you so much for writing this. It was a truly delightful

from:  Shruti
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:27 IST

The article is very well written to be qualified as a satire.. But I must admit it is the comments that leave me with a broader smile.

To all the readers: Please understand the motive of the article and the sarcasm involved in it.

Good going Suchi.. Keep it up!

from:  Vijay S
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:26 IST

Superb article! If we got everybody to comment, it could prob turn out
to be the best tool for segregation of the masses (along intellectual
lines of course).

from:  Sunil
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 13:16 IST

This is definitely the funniest article from The Hindu. What most
readers don't realise is that the author wrote this article with a lot
of sarcasm. I see a lot of people commenting on it very seriously
without realising that this was meant to be a light-hearted and
sarcastic article. To all those who didn't recognise the sarcastic
nature of the article and are disappointed by a women wrote, you deserve
it for your close-minded thinking.

from:  Sadhan
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 12:48 IST

nonsense, the author got it all wrong,

In our culture in Kerala, we must necessarily not wear the upper garment in temples, there is nothing wrong in that, if you see something wrong, there`s something wrong with your mind.

Even the part about wearing shorts, it does not make any sense

I accept the article is humorous (unintended humour), but is witless and drab, sorry Suchi, may be you must have a serious look at your Basics....

from:  ramachandran sharma
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 12:25 IST

Suchi As you have made a comment only on the male gender let me also
tell you. In ancient times ladies were allowed to go to the temples
only in a saree or dhavani pattu. Now the culture is very changed very
rarely except for the older generation or say may be above 30's go in
this costume and today many young girls and working professionals wear
jeans, long skirt or churidhar only to the temples and even girls do
dress up provocatively to the temples and they also spoil the sanctum
of the temple. In ancient times even men used to tie their dhoti like
a shorts for phsyical sports. Very Deeply saddened at HINDU releasing
an opinion like this on the men alone. It should spoken about the
ladies and women as well.

from:  Varun Ravi
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 12:22 IST

(1) :Reads article:
(2) :Claps, tips hat to Suchi G:
(3) :Reads comments:
(4) :Stares, speechless:
(5) :Hits face with palm. Twice.:

Sense of humour (definition) : A basic sentient trait that the majority
of the human race, and a minority of dolphins, lack.

from:  Somdeb Ghose
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 12:16 IST

This article is in bad taste. Suchi and newspapers like this which publish such articles - how are you different from the self-proclaimed custodians of Indian culture? You are the self-proclaimed defenders of (licentious) liberty and promiscuity. Issues concerning a complex society like ours cannot be solved through "Wodehousian humour" and "Oscar Wilde sarcasm" unfortunately. There was a time when women in Kerala did not wear upper garments either and they were not assaulted sexually for doing that. But with the colonial influence of British prudity, we seem to have become less tolerant over time. So, the solution actually is go back to your roots.

from:  Pramod Kumar
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 12:14 IST

Extremely funny..Enjoyed reading it!!

from:  Harikrishna
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 12:13 IST

brilliant piece of work..though it hit the male egos quite a lot..
(visible from the comments) shows that men have the right to do
anything, wear anything just in the name of rituals. and i completely
agree with anila ji...i mean what culture allows five husbands to a
wife, that too without her consent. well..despite such wonderful
articles, most men would never ever admit that the society is double-
minded because of the simple reason- IT IS IN THEIR FAVOUR... alas!
sad, but true! but nevertheless, i support suchi-the writer completely
and i think expressing ourselves is the only thing men can't stop us
from. kudos girl!

from:  tanvi taneja
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 12:07 IST

These were the exact words my grandparents used to say to my sister( of
course you need to reverse the gender to understand this article).

from:  hari
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 12:05 IST

Is Hindu really ahead of times?

from:  mohan
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 12:04 IST

Such a wonderful article....women rule!!!

from:  Dilee A
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 11:56 IST

brilliant article by Suchi Govindarajan combining Wodehousian humour and Oscar Wilde sarcasm. The critical commentators exhibit total lack of understanding either.

from:  K.Pappan
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 11:36 IST

Ha ha ha. Completely enjoyed reading this article.
This usually comes from the other sex about women and girls' but getting this view was so hilarious!

from:  Janani
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 11:26 IST

Well-done to the author and to The Hindu for publishing the article.
Like any good satire, the article provokes(which you can make out
from the number of angry, ironic and masculine comments) and raises
consciousness through humor. And what is the consciousness-raising
message? It is that our society, our traditions, our ideas of right
and wrong, our standards of appropriateness of behavior have all
been set, time-immemorial, by males. The question is not whether the
author is genuinely annoyed by topless priests or by shorts-wearing
sportsmen. The point is that no one thought to ask the women.
For those who still don't get it, let me give an analogy. It is
quite obvious to any woman who drives, that cars are designed by men
for men, without paying any heed to the requirements of women. And
how do we know this? Because if there were any women involved in
designing cars, there'll be a place designed to store their

from:  Raamganesh
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 11:20 IST

Brilliant! I am very very proud of The Hindu for having published

Must read for each one of the idiots out there who think women have to
carry the burden of 'culture'. The exact 'Culture' where women
are far less safer than in modern developed nations where no one is
judged by their clothes. The very same 'culture' where rape is so
prevalent (than in those western countries) and worse still grossly
under reported. Time to stop the double standard nonsense!

Keep up the good work The Hindu!

from:  Keerthana
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 11:11 IST

The article should have been titled 'A Modest Proposal'! A friend who read it called it a brilliant piece of Swiftian satire...The comments of those who have taken it at face value are absolutely priceless...
Bravo to the author!

from:  Kavita Krishnan
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 11:03 IST

That was hilarious. Could understand the pain that resulted in such a
good satire. Appalling that most men just didn't get it.

from:  Subhash
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 11:01 IST

Great article! But I don't understand why most of them got furious
(esp. men). A lot of readers brought in concepts and history to point out
the flaws in the article. You guys have failed to see the whole point of
the article.
If men are used to seeing women without blouse since Victorian
age/period.Then why do you STARE ? Why is there a problem with any
woman's attire ?

from:  maha
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 10:59 IST

God help the ones who don't understand humour or satire!

from:  Rajaram S
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 10:40 IST

You forgot to mention one thing... in the dreamworld and in a snow clad
location... the hero gets to wear a tight jean and a body-clad garment but
the heroine gets only some revealing clothes... why?

from:  hari
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 10:15 IST

I am quite surprised to see an article of moral policing of this nature in the Hindu.
A few points : You speak of our ‘culture’ and ‘values.’ What is the anatomy of this so-called culture?
I would like to tell you the ‘culture’ that we speak of in a chest thumping manner is one of excesses and indecency. The concept of morality is something the British left us with. We never had marriage certificates or wedding rings. We just lived with whom we thought we could share a life! Furthermore, nudity was a sign of royalty; women especially were topless!
Any explanation why we have to be so explicit in the Khajuraho temple? Why we should have such a seductive dress as sari as a national dress and pride? Why we would worship someone who had thousand wives as God? Why five brothers could share one wife!?
Tell us, which culture you are talking about!? Excuse me!
I love my country, its colours, beliefs and epics… But we also have to admit, we have double standards.

from:  Anila S K
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 10:12 IST

Sounds like a ridiculous article wrongly published in The Hindu. Please do not encourage creativity at the expense of idiosyncratic and completely biased opinions.

from:  Naresh K
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 10:10 IST

Brilliant article. Hilarious stuff. Keep writing, Suchi..

And the first few comments here, are hopeless. Guess the author would've sit back and had a great laugh. Lets safeguard our society, hereon. haha!

from:  Anbarasu.R
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 09:55 IST

Excellent ! Keep it up Suchi ! Many of the comments show that we don't have sense of humor & don't appreciate satire ! Also the male dominated society used to centuries of domination of women in the name of "tradition" can never accept the double standards it follows !

from:  V.Subramanian
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 09:51 IST

The author seems to drive home the point that double standards do indeed
work perfectly. The author also seems to imply that you'd appear a
lunatic if you were to apply the same standards to two different groups.
Thanks for the info!

from:  Joseph S
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 09:42 IST

Very funny Suchi! Thank you! What is even more funny is how sensitive the comments are, and completely missing the point! Hilarious! Indian men, grow up! That's the message anyway.

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 09:27 IST

Man, On a sunday morning i open the op-ed page of The Hinduand i see this article!! WOW!! I have no words for the writer. It is amzingly creative and hits the nail Bang on its head. And yup, rightly so, the comments above only add as more evidence to the point that the author was trying to make. People who are taking it personal need to go and contemplate on why they think it is offensive. When men comment on our dressing "We need to understand that they're right" but similarly now when we say something we are not well-read or we dont undersatnd our culture! LOL:-D I am just glad! It made for a great reading and also an eye-opener to all these orthodox men and also Women in our society!!

from:  Komal Gautham
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 09:26 IST

Fantastic article Suchi, couldn't stop laughing at the comments!

from:  Nita
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 09:22 IST

Dear author,

I believe people go to temples to look at the idol of God and to pray to God, not to look at the bodies of the priests or what their inner garments look like. I have visited 100's of temples, many times and not once I have noticed the body of the priest or what his inner garments look like. The bad thoughts lie in our minds and not in the bodies of the priests.

from:  Kaushik
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 09:08 IST

there is a danger in too much sarcasm and the real issue may be blurred. now can we have a scholarly write up as to how the dress code evolved exempting men from covering the top. coming to the west we could see how the men dressed at the oscars. now what about the women? can any one explain how this has evolved?

from:  V.V.R.SARMA
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 09:08 IST

Dear sir, i would like express my view to all the world that as what we read in Geetha, we cannot mix 'varna'. Mixing of this is degeneration of the socity. I want to tell that societys originated from diffrent parts of the world in diffrent time. Also,it is evoluted with the climate and atmosphere, i mean west is west, east is east also midile east always midile east, we dont need to go against his judgement. So dress up properly and and succub to this land's heritage otherwise you will be end on the road or on the multispeciliy hospital before fulfilling once wish 'om nama shiva'

from:  Chandran
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 08:59 IST

Negative comments about the article are mostly from men.
I wonder why!
Nicely written article (only meant people with a little sense of humour,
I suppose?)

from:  KK
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 08:21 IST

Ok...what does the writer implicate..? that women need to show off their
body just like men do....? or Men should cover all the body parts like
Women ought to do..? It is the strangest up article I have ever

from:  Sudeep
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 07:57 IST

Another feminist trying to change the world's 'perception'. By design nature has made distinctions in the role of males and females in every species. The lioness hunts and the lion eats. They respect the system and understand the way they are built. Maybe the author should demand an explanation from Mother Nature Herself.

from:  rahul
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 07:08 IST

The comments are hilarious. One of them even brought something
related to trigonometry up as if it has something to do with what
people wear! We still have a long way to go.

from:  Prabhat Pal
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 06:21 IST

Hilarious article Suchi. Perfectly written.

It is astonishing that 75% of the comments are from people without a sense of humour!

from:  SS
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 05:22 IST

Life is unfair, men also get discriminated in lot of places and women
have it easy at a lot of places but somehow nobody talks about those
things but the deal is the girls want to do everything the guys do and
while making an effort realise sooner/later that it is not easy.

I know a lot of folks here ll come on and brandish me an MCP/Hindutva
guy and all kind of usual jargon that marxist brainwashing gives our
journalists day in and out. The issue is it is a fashion thing to be a
feminist/idealist when all these people exhibit is just sheer
ignorance of the laws of the nature which are pretty much the laws of
the jungle as well as we all came from there only.

from:  subramanian
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 03:36 IST

Oh what a pseudo article,

the only question,i have to ask is why dont women fight it off when a
guy does something to you. why dont u hit him or punch him or keep a
weapon. many do and most dont, why because they know they are the
weaker sex(whatever that means) and if you think that and if u r
pragmatic, u ll wear what is safe and suitable. Else u can u keep
cribbing that guys do this and that.

And u r sitting here and making fun of a shirtless priest, the fact of
the matter is even in those days women wore/still wear sarees and half
sarees which are quite sensual clothes but guys dont make a pass at
that girl because it often reminds him of his mom/sister whereas when
s girl is wearing shorts/mini skirts/drinks he assumes she has no
controls and has loose morals which is quite true in 30% of the cases.

I am not saying woman should or should not wearing any kind of
dress(es) but the deal is everything has a context.why dont women come
and molest a guy when he is topless or wearing short

from:  subramanian
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 03:31 IST

Yes! Modesty of dress for both genders or bust! (no pun intended)

from:  Thumbelina
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 02:33 IST

First of all, I had deep respect for THE HINDU as a newspaper and I am
disappointed to see Hindu try to increase hits on its page by
publishing such articles. After all those ads, it
seems you are resorting to page 3 tactics to increase your "viewer"
Coming to our author, enough has been written in above comments about
her ignorance of the Indian rituals. Did she visit the temple for the
first time? This is not about the "ways of our society". The problem
here is that the sanctity of an institution called the Temple is
questioned. The best part of the article was that Suchi hates logical
fallacies, which seems to be the only problem with her article.

While I am an advocate for women rights, the way is not to voice
opinions about containing the rights of any man/woman. Shorts are worn
by men and women in sports for a reason called mobility. If you have
ever played a sport, you might have realized it.

Please...we would support you if you wrote sense. Please do

from:  Nithin
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 02:25 IST

Sarcasm is not lost on me and I do appreciate the humor. But there is a serious side to this discussion:

Is the author making the case that the Indian society is not aping west in its worst aspects?

Indian men and women can cast off what ever they (dont) want, as long as they dont do it driven by low self esteem. It is my opinion that young indians have few great role models within their society to look up to. People of caliber of Mahatma Gandi - he too cast of his clothes and wore the lowly dhothi - but for the right reasons, just as some muslim women are taking up wearing purdah as a message of defiance as well in the west.

I am not making a case for atavism, but for use of common sense and pride in one's own culture.

from:  V Iyengar
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 02:24 IST

I laughed and laughed it was all in fun I am sure!!! Indians seem to get so upset over someone just joking.....

from:  gloria danek
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 01:49 IST

This is a brilliant, incisive satire exposing the moral policing by so-
called chauvinist custodians of Indian "culture."
Hats off to the writer, this had in a fit of giggles for a while. That
said, what was even more hilarious was to read the comments by some
confused older Indians. I bet they've never read any Jonathan Swift.

from:  Gayathri Brown
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 01:38 IST

Brilliant article! pity those who go on to defend traditions and temples
and priests. Read the closing sentence. Ring any
bells? kudos to you suchi!

from:  Arun
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 01:33 IST

We indeed have very little hope for our society if people don't understand sarcasm.
One can definitely choose not to agree with the author and say hey this is not a
case of double standard, but indeed men and women should have different
standards of modesty due to a)cultural/historical/religious reasons, and
b)biological reasons (men are more excitable?). I perhaps would have still preferred
that to this! When people don't even 'get it' then we are facing a bigger peril!! Of
course a middle-aged priest in a temple is not seen as a 'sexual being,' and Suchi
is not even saying that he is one. But the point here is if priests/sanyasis etc. are
not seen as indecent then why must a woman be immediately judged in terms of
her attire. Why must a woman turned back from a temple as she doesn't have a
shawl, even though she had dressed very modestly (mentioned here by one
person). Impossible to have rational conversations with people who don't even
understand the tone of the conversation!

from:  Tapoja
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 01:26 IST

Ha!Ha! Ms. Suchi, allow me to (figuratively) shake your hands and
congratulate you on such a beautiful, humorous way of bringing out the
need for equality of genders. I have not seen such a brilliant article
in many decades of reading newspapers and magazines.

I wish you a long journalistic career, and hope to see more of your
wit and wisdom.

from:  Krishna Kumar
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 01:22 IST

Though this is supposed to be satire, the article is in very bad taste trying to make fun of things that she doesn't even understand.
Eg., The priests are bare-chested not becos they wanted to show off body or is it a traditionl. They always have to work in small, hot and humid altars so its a common sense to allow such a dress to pujaris. Over generations, people have not been told reason and now everyone thinks that its just a ritual/traditional. This article just exposes the ignorance of the author than her ability to use satire to make her point. Also, bit of reading and researching will help the author to improve her limited knowledge before venturing into next such article.

from:  Hemnath S
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 01:18 IST

Hi Suchi,
What a realistic yet sarcastic way of showing the discrimination in
our society against our female kind. I hope you would have written in
a way that most people would understand the inner subject and feeling
of the article.
I hope by the way of embracing the western culture we would find a way
out of this male dominated society which does not provide a chance for
women's liberation. We should avoid this damnation of our women by the
name of traditionalism, religion, culture and so on. This is the only
way we can move forward as a society as whole towards being a super
power nation in intelligence.

Wow again

from:  Balamuruhan Amurthalingam
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 01:17 IST

as far as the article goes, the author need not be so specific about male clothing standards in India, to get her point across. In fact, it is said you see, what you want to see.Someone going to the temple and looking out exposed body parts, is problem on the beholder's part. About blinding following Western culture, we are living in a west dominated world. Show me one book in advanced engineering coming in any Indian language.Following their dress code, is just extension of the thought, we follow west in every other matters.
As for the author's intention of commenting on the vulgar dress sense of the males, I would say it is a proven fact, due to the patriarchal nature of our society and that males are more easily distracted with the wrong dressing attitude of females, its the females who suffer. same on the flip side is not true. never heard of males molested because of wrong dressing attitude.
As for the comments, I expected many more matured comments, sorry.

from:  sankar
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 01:13 IST

Humourous read :-). Seriously, though, women are at an advantage (or disadvantage, depending on which way you look at it) when it comes to revealing attire - they will attract attention, since, by most accounts including mine, God made them more attractive! (my God, who's ever paid attention to the bare forearms, armpits or legs of priests and male joggers??). So, apart from comfort and preference, women have to deal with this extra factor in their choice of dress (particularly because we still have unacceptable levels of crime against women in our society, and many women and parents of girls don't want to risk negative attention).

from:  Chandra
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 01:04 IST

Kudos, for the article which I find to be one of the best on hypocricy
that defines Indian culture. Also, Reading this article has reassured me
that sarcasm as a mode of writing is alive and kicking in India. I
cannot really remember when was the last when I had read such an
article, part satirical part stinging.
It reminds me of that masterpiece from Gloria Steinem, If Men could

from:  Samar
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 00:57 IST

Its a bit disappointing that some men folk fail to understand that this article wasn't aimed at ridiculing the traditional practices , but rather the notion that the woman's attire was the reason behind her being physically assaulted .Guess its one of the phases through which women empowerment has to go through.I can actually see the old , decayed patriarchal reforms slowly fading away..

from:  soorej
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 00:57 IST

This is such a well written, hilarious article. Im appalled at reading some of the
comments written by some "self righteous" and "holier than thou" men (and a
woman) who quite obviously couldn't see the point Suchi is making. Have people
lost their sense of humour, have they been dumbed down so much that they can't
read sarcasm when its staring right at their face? Have we reached a level of
intelligence where one has to explain a joke for it to be understood?This isn't
rocket science for heaven's sake. Change the genders around in the article and you
will see what our society is today and in particular the attitude of some men
towards women. Makes sense?
Well done Suchi Govindarajan !!

from:  Nandu
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 00:30 IST

Brilliantly written. I usually do not follow whining articles, but
this one was brought to my attention by a friend.
At first I facepalmed. Then the coconut chutney line got me wondering.
And I was clutching my sides at 'middle aged priests'.
Hats off, Suchi!
As for the comments taking the article at face value, it indicates the
very lack of culture and intellect that these commenters bemoan.
If one were to take this article seriously, and more importantly, to
take offense, one need look no farther than oneself to see what is
wrong in Indian society today (well, at least part of what's wrong).

from:  Satish Kumar
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 00:15 IST

I sympathize with all the upholders of the glorious past of Indian
tradition, the ones who have responded with indignation. Now all of
you please march to the local police station and the local MLA from
the (self)right(eous)wing political party, and say the same thing! And
please make sure you carry your women along dressed in the highest
traditions of age-old Indian dress-code for women. Ignore this lady
(she has done her job)and straighten those equally dim-witted police
officers, judges and politicians, as yourselves. Please tell them that
when in the 12th century our women were being raped by foreign
invaders, it was not a fault of their clothing, nor is it their fault
now in the 21st century, but entirely of the perpetrator of the crime.
Please help bring back our glorious tradition of women's clothing
styles, please!

from:  Pravin Singhania
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 00:15 IST

After second thoughts, I would say It's a brilliant piece! Congrats to the Editor!

from:  Ria
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 00:10 IST

I am deeply saddened by this article/thinking of a writer of this generation. I am a sports person and wearing shorts or a speedo does not indicate that the "INDIAN CULTURE" is not in me(or any one else for that matter) anymore. It's within me and it can not only be judged by what I wear or what I do. As far as our parents are concerned they have put in enough faith in us so that we can carry forward our Indian culture and tradition to our children, so by imposing a few rules on our next generation doesn't give us a confirmation that they will inculcate the Indian culture. I am seriously amused by the thinking of the author.

from:  Eshan Mehndiratta
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 00:09 IST

Applause to The Hindu for publishing this piece. To all those excellent gentlemen (and ladies) who felt the need to remind us that traditionally the men and women of India do not necessarily cover their upper bodies, I would like to ask if they would be comfortable with me in a modestly draped saree (sans blouse) in public. I can wear a saree (and a madisaar) so that nothing shows but I know wearing these saree styles in public will only create problems for me. Perhaps I am wrong? After all, we seem to have so many traditionalists among us. Surely they will support me if I face trouble in public because of my lack of 'Victorian' blouse?

from:  Sunayana Roy
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 00:04 IST

Sad to see that many of even The Hindu's educated readers fail to see the point of the article. This is the exact same language used by religious fundamentalists in attacking women, in some cases going so far as to blame women for "inciting" violence and rape! The point is that blaming women's so called "immodesty" for sexual assault is as absurd as the accusations in the above letter.

from:  SP
Posted on: Mar 12, 2012 at 00:04 IST

While sarcasm is alright, women seem to miss this most important anatomical fact that men's harmones react to visual stimuli while for women, it is not so to the same effect!

from:  Bala
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 23:51 IST

To the author - Thanks, I never knew that women get turned on just by looking at men's legs and their bare exposed chest. Just makes me wonder, if that is the case why aren't there any bars and strip clubs - featuring "hot" men ?

from:  Srini
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 23:35 IST

The motive behind article is good to show the double standard of socity towards attire ethics. However the examples used were not well choosen.

from:  Tarun Gupta
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 23:33 IST

Extremely well written... Just so funny the way people are reacting to this article without seeing the satire in it...

from:  Apurva
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 23:31 IST

One has to accept sarcasm while reading a humourous piece especially exaggeration plays a bigger role.I think this is something like 'ulta pulta' we saw in DD in the late 80s and early 90s by Jaspal Bhatti.Some thing different is attempted to drive home the point as everyday gossip between small group of people can't be reaching wider section of society. I would encourage Suchi to write more on topics which affected society as a whole and made man a lazy animal compared to 19th and 20th century.

from:  b sriram
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 23:30 IST

what a brilliantly written article! it has truly given voice to the women who are 'regulated'on their dressing day-in and day-out by the so-called ' preservers of our culture. and all those who are here criticising the writer need to check the meaning of satire in the dictionary.

from:  tarika narula
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 23:23 IST

The article is pretty funny and the actual intention just looks only like humour :) But couldn't understand the intellectuals who are commenting of double standards in society!!!

from:  Praveen
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 23:11 IST

The purpose of the article is taken but the comment on priests were
absolutely unnecessary. The timing of this article wouldn't have got
any better. I could understand the fury.
But looking at the rape incidents recently none of it was on a shorts
wearing girl. So you need to understand the problem before addressing
it. But agree with you on most cases.

from:  Sujith
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 22:59 IST

Ridiculous article! Its a shame that The Hindu published this. I am all for woman rights but
this is not funny one little bit. To sum up, its just an utter waste of space.

from:  Santhosh
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 22:50 IST

Can somebody enlighten the dorks who haven't got the sarcasm?

from:  asha
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 22:48 IST

With most of the responses against the article being negative, why such prejudice? If in fact the author had written such comments about today's girls, wouldn't everyone who are so disturbed, change tunes and sing praises?

Highly hypocritical. For people who were open enough to accept the other side of the applause.

from:  Deepa
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 22:47 IST

The article is funny, the comments funnier still. @old fashioned
orthodox male commenter : kudos to your analysis!

from:  Swati
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 22:47 IST

Its good to see an author come out with an article that highlights the difference of society towards men and women.
But then men and women are different physically and mentally. Why does she know this?
And moreover just saying ill about the society wont do any good. Myself and you are the society.
Leave aside the male domination, how many women are ready to accept the facts which she has said.How many women will support the points insisted here?

from:  Sathish
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 22:30 IST

Well written article, Suchi...

I believe instead of blame game we must read it from a neutral point of view and then I'm sure people will definitely be able to understand from where the author is coming from.

When we see it happening around, we let it happen... don't seem to care enough however when we read it, we let our ego pitch in and talk for "I" and not us.

from:  Kanchan
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 22:29 IST

Well this is insanity at its peak!!!!What I understood from the article is that author wants to go topless because she envies men (priests) going topless while performing rituals!!!!

from:  sankeerth
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 22:19 IST

The article on men’s wear is supposed to be a dig on the society that
we live in. Clothing is a societal norm dictated by the times.
Clothing is supposed to be environment friendly, give comfort to
person who wears and gives a distinct identity. From the times that we
know of, clothing has many connotations - Men wear dhoti at home and
trouser and shirt to office. Women wear crumpled saree at home; nighty
in the night and well pressed and good looking one to the office. So
if the priest does not wear a shirt or top in the sanctum sanatorium
that is the dress code in his work-place. I am sure, the same priest
will be wearing different dress when he is in his home or going out.
Suchi taking a dig on dress of men and to some extent on women too is
off the track by many miles. I am afraid, in continuation, she will
impose dress code on tennis and football players. May be she will ask
all humans to dress in space suits. Ha.

from:  Rudraksh
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 22:18 IST

The article is quite hilarious just like the comments from some 'cultured Indians' :-) Why do we Indians take ourselves so seriously? Why cant we just laugh and enjoy humour !?!

from:  DR
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 22:16 IST

This is definitely a brilliantly written article. Nice work Suchi.

The response comments are shocking! I would have expected that the
readers of a paper like the Hindu would be able to understand such an
obvious and 'in your face' use of sarcasm. Sadly that doesn't seem to be
the case.

from:  Jacob
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 22:10 IST

I am not sure how double standards are shown in this article of yours.
If you are saying that priests should wear jeans and give prasadam,
let me tell you, you wont like it and will be ready with a new article
here. 100% with you on double standards... but quoting dressings of
priests and kurta is not helping raise your point as it should have,
infact you end up diluting the seriousness of the matter by trying to
be funny about not-so-funny things.
What could have been better is you putting up a video in which a guy
in no clothes on beach says something about girls roaming naked.

More Punch... subtle punch...!!

from:  Rohit Mishra
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 21:56 IST

The lack of perspective in this article is compounded by its cheap commercial sarcasm and confused feminism. Firstly, the author fails to appreciate the distinction between exposing one self for sexual reasons (or due to lack of self esteem) in a celebrity crazed society, and a traditional dress-code in a hot tropical country, not intended for sexuality. Secondly, it is statistically true that women with revealing clothes are more likely to get attacked. So until Indian becomes like the west where the divorce rate is greater than 51%, teen age pregnancy is flaunted on prime time reality shows, and sexual violence is just as bad if not worse, I would ask Ms. Suchi to approach a sensitive subject matter with greater maturity. On a related note: fully clothed men who wear black suits (to reflect western fashion) in the peak of the Indian summer are just as dumb.

from:  Ashish
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 21:51 IST

The author seems to drive home the point that double standards do indeed
work perfectly. In fact the author seems to suggest that you'd appear a
lunatic when you apply the same standards to two different groups.
Thanks for the info!

from:  Joseph S
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 21:48 IST

Surprised that Hindu published this.
The author calls for all men to be dressed in purdah & and with helmets
on so as not to reveal any sign of masculinity he might be proud of.
Exposure shouldn't be appreciated but there is no reason for the author
to peek into and appreciate or detest the brand of underwear the priests
are wearing.

from:  Perera
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 21:42 IST

hmm I wonder in indian films why guys were modest cloths, were as women are showing off everything. May be the films are made for guys too. The men had have double standards. they want other women to see them more exposed than their family members

from:  jay
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 21:22 IST

I second Mr T.S Krishnaswamy and Mr Prasanna Kumar, Hilarious or not, sarcastic or not, why should even one attempt to talk about our culture this way. Probably this is freedom at its best albiet even though a little misplaced.

from:  Harsha
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 21:16 IST

''Working fathers'' and ''what was he wearing'' certainly the best
parts! And to think the otherwise prudish Hindu actually published
this...a double congrats Suchi

from:  Gaargi
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 21:05 IST

This is such a great read! The sarcasm drips from each idea, each line!
Brilliant take on modesty! Kudos!

from:  Usha Pisharody
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 20:58 IST

It's really interesting the way the author has whipped the double standards of "our society" from a feminist perspective, without even alluding to women.

from:  Kopal Agarwal
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 20:57 IST

Dear Author, are you still living in 70s? Deep neck, sleeveless,
backless, exposed-legs - all these are currently being the outfits of
modern urban woman. Men do not complain about that. Well, you can
argue that they do waxing regularly. May be if that is what your
problem, then We cant do anything about that. Also, If your real
intention in going to temples is to submit your petitions to god, then
why a topless middle age priest is bothering you? Your comment about
people should stick to chess and cricket as these are the games which
can be played with full pants is one of the lamest thoughts I had ever
read. If you are watching a football match, you should look at the
game and technicalities, not the exposed legs. Anyways, Kindly think
before you write an article. To the editor, Hindu - This article does
not deserve a column in such a reputed newspaper. Thanks

from:  Gauri Shanker
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 20:40 IST

Hindu, I doff my hat to you - do keep seeking these gems out. But of some of your readers (represented by the early comments to this article), I must reserve my judgements :) Inspired writing, Suchi!

from:  Kanna
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 20:34 IST

The fact is all societies (Western or Eastern) treat men and women
differently, to put it mildly. When a woman is sexually assaulted,
instead of punishing the guilty, the victim herself being blamed is
just atrocious. This has been brought up clearly.

But something to keep in mind : Not all people are brought up the same
way and different people think different things are obscene or
provocative. So, while God may not get turned on by women in revealing
clothes, men and women may.

from:  R. Lakshminarayanan
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 20:34 IST

Whats your opinion about our INDIAN ladies dress style(Modesty of dress)

from:  Shajahan Asanaru Kunju
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 20:32 IST

Reminds me of what the great Mahatma Gandhiji said once; "See no evil.
Hear no evil. Speak no evil".

from:  GK
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 20:28 IST

Kind of cute and funny. However it's a bit much to expect such liberation in dress code in a country where 47 % of the kids are malnourished and most people don't even have a roof over their heads or their three meals. These are more pressing issues to worry about rather than hollering about one's right to dress as one pleases a la Americaine. When I returned to India 18 years ago, I wore tank tops, sleeve less and three quarter pants at first but I was charged double for everything, was uneasy with the stares and the question "Where are you from?" I switched over to salwar kameez right away and find it is the best mode of dress to protect one from the hot blazing Indian sun, don't have to shave the legs, underarms etc and I get respect and these are great bonuses. Bathing in swimsuits is a nightmare as gangs of guys suddenly appear and one is too threatened to enjoy the swim. In Kannur I went into the sea fully clothed and for the first time like kids do, enjoyed every moment of it

from:  angela alvares
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 20:07 IST

Funny yet poignant. I dont understand how people have stopped understanding sarcasm.

from:  Shradha
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 20:03 IST

Awesome article and some silly comments ... some folks just could not
fathom the sarcasm !!

from:  Deep
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 20:00 IST

No one is supposed to tell anyone what to wear what not to and how much to expose or reveal. Let this be at society's/people's disposal to choose what they are comfortable with. Any clothing that is not liked by the society will automatically be frowned upon and the individual will feel ashamed of wearing that again. What is ugly is ugly, what looks beautiful and pleasing is actually pleasing!

from:  Mukesh
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 19:44 IST

While the author was trying her best to sound humorous, some of the examples that she took up to drive her points home were not in the good spirit of certain traditions. As far as I have experienced, bare-chested and skimpy dressed people (men as well as women) are there in all parts of the world and not just in Amazons or India. Hence the title, just like content, does not weigh either.

However, this article definitely qualifies to be published in the Times of India or in the best case on a personal blog. I hope 'The Hindu' doesn't go gaga over the so-called viral stuff that get sold with the help of clueless social media youngsters to whom the life is all about what they see at this moment. 'Kolaveri' culture! Karmam karmam...!!

from:  Sriram Ramaswamy
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 19:36 IST

I enjoyed the article, marvelous sense of humour, high-quality sarcasm.
Happy that Suchi made her point in such a readable style...And then I
read the comments and I'm confused -- are we only a bit dense, or is it
that the male goes on the defensive and stops thinking logically
whenever he feels criticized?

from:  Sylvester
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 19:27 IST

wonderful satire...alas not many have broadmindedness to understand ancient times attire for man and woman were almost same...and in west whose dresses we describe as too revealing were like fully covered burquas! our minds have long been corrupted and all the restrictions on woman and double standards for man and woman no matter what, is in vogue.
Comments in the beginning reflects mindset of exactly those who the writer is pointing to. Completely enjoyed this and comments are icing on the cake.

from:  pradeep singh
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 19:27 IST

Guys this is a joke, get it, the author is just complaining about men's
wear as the prudes do about women's clothes. Grow up guys, its a
hilariously funny article, go with it and enjoy.

from:  Naseer
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 19:21 IST

Funny article. Comments from some indignant malefolks (Seriously?) is hilarious!

from:  VM
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 19:00 IST

The Great MountRoad Maha Vishnu should not publish such articles. All this is a result of western culture peeping into Indian minds. Going to be Very difficult for Suchi's husband. Enna paadu pada porano!

from:  Sundararajan
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 18:30 IST

Indian dressing is more of a denial than decency, i do not see any reasoning on
any of our dressing methods other than one ultimate reason which is obviously
CASTE. Indian women cannot were any thing other than a 16 meter wrap around
their body so even by mistake they should not attract any men by law of natural
love, which as per caste is a careful choice made by the eldres in their favor, think
of a lower caste girl dresses up well and a brahmin boy false in love on her then its
a violation of caste which is a big crime.
When it comes to temple priest its a much easy puzzle, again only caste brahmins
are allowed to do temple services, and the only way you can identify them is by
asking them to service without upper garment so that you can see their string,
which is the only proof. And same applies for the devotees, who without shirt can
easily distinguished from a brahmin.
Although the topic is worth it the writings of suchi is not worth a read. It lacks
depth and reasoning

from:  Indiaraj
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 18:18 IST

Its an appeal to the editor not to publish articles like above in such a reputed paper.

from:  Manu Panwar
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 18:18 IST

Im appalled that an article which expresses such extreme, unfounded, ridiculous, immature
understanding of the development in India could find its way to be published in a newspaper
of this stature. Being a lawyer, I understand that every citizen has fundamental freedom of
expression guaranteed by the Constitution, but the very same chapter doesn't grant you a
right to moral policing, with views which are abysmal, disappointing and may have emanated
from not so happy experiences that's person might have had during early years of his life,
like the presen author. I'm shocked to read that the author questions the bringing up of
sportsmen just because they wear shorts, for all you care the next article which the reputed
paper might publish by the author may infect be advocating views on homosexuality from
which the government itself distanced recently. The author might even in the recent future
want Indian women to wear hijab.

from:  Manu Panwar
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 18:16 IST

this made me roll on the floor laughing!
P.S. 'THIS' refers to the comments on the article!!!

from:  Tasnim
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 17:59 IST

Grt read! Spot on abt the discrimination of women in terms of attire! Phew! Cruel
men. But no worries. Females are getting back at them. No matter how tired men
are from a day long work, they get chucked out of their bus back seats for young
girls to sit and chit chat. After all it is scientifically proven tht women who talk a lot
are physically weak than men who work a lot. Next, marriage proposals. Men who
can mint money, build houses and can go to West anytime should be selected as
potential grooms. Rest will be brooms or sanyasis working for the peace of this
world. So apt! How can a man be expected to be in a mediocre job when women
are still uneducated and not crowding the IT industry? Can a woman be asked to
share the family expenses? Blasphemy! The women have the right for equal rights
but not equal duties. Men better open doors, allow them 1st in a queue and strictly
adhere to "Ladies first" legislation.
Double stds exist everywhere. After all, men r frm Mars, women frm Venus!

from:  abhi
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 15:32 IST

we are a strange society composed of strange creatures. beauty is shrouded, intelligence wrapped, facade of civility, living under a garb of inscrutability. prohibitions, restrictions, customs, creeds, traditions are all but a farce. male designed methods of atrocity.

from:  Mrinal Das
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 14:28 IST

sarcasm is a proven tool in literature in exposing the societal double standards.The author drove home the point quite expertly, while maintaining a streak of humor.

from:  Veerabhadram
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 14:24 IST

My hands are shaking from too much laughter as i try and type my comment. Suchi, you are absolutely right. Only stone images and ancient paintings should be allowed to show bare chests and exposed legs. We extol Hindu culture when we should hang our heads in shame that Arabs cover themselves respectfully head to toe in tent-like clothes. I hope Anna Hazare and such cleansers remove from our sight all auch exhibitionists especially narcissistic babas showing off all their hairy parts in the name of teaching Yoga!!!!!

from:  Sachi R
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 14:05 IST

Well written Suchi!! It is indeed unfair that no eyebrows are raised
when men roam around wearing however little clothes they please but a
woman in shorts is looked upon askance. Why is a woman still judged by
the clothes she wears? And how is it an excuse for a man's lecherous
behaviour towards her? I'm quite amazed so many people failed to see the
real social issue behind this article and blame the author for not
knowing the "ways of our society"

from:  Sridevi
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 12:50 IST

Seriously guys? Is this what we have come down too? The author is
clearly putting across the case of our societal double standards through
this hilarious article.Rather than judging her, I think we should look at ourselves and see what culture are we encouraging, and worse, passing down to our kids.

from:  Sriram Sripada
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 12:46 IST

Positively brilliant! One of the better opinion pieces I have read in
recent memory. Thigh-slappingly hilarious and like all good satire carries its message across effectively and without a hint of preachyness.

from:  saurabh
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 12:41 IST

Come on folks this is a brilliant article.Grow up and understand
sarcasm.Kudos to Suchi!!

from:  may
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 12:30 IST

Can't you see it's meant to be sarcastic?!!!

from:  Slimeh
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 12:14 IST

Gentlemen, Please don't take it as personal assault on our culture or whatever and just enjoy the humor...Brilliant, i say

from:  Maruthi
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 12:09 IST

Our society even today doesn't accept criticism on a male positively ? What author has expressed is part of reality prevailing in our society, but clearly in jest. We have every right of expression to say right to be right and wrong to be wrong. It is up to people how they take it.
If our society allowed women to be themself in ancient India, where has that broad-minded thinking vanished? From where do brigades of men spring up on women going to pubs and attack them. The ritual of a priest dressing the way has not changed in ages, but the way a women has to has changed manyfold.
So relax and enjoy a good read written purely in jest.

from:  K Rajesh
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 12:10 IST

The article without doubt makes a point in a tongue in cheek manner. But
the comments made so far take the cake. I can't stop laughing reading

from:  Shail
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 12:07 IST

yes, really the author is highly impulsive and has expressed the very first reactions of her. she has spared no time to meditate upon the age old practices that our forefathers' followed with sense. I don't think dress should create such big chaos in our society. it is all about to protect oursevls from sun, bad weather and so on. I don't think vulgarity lies in the's all very much in the mind. we see a lot of beauty in nature's nakedness and a lot of vulgariy in gorgeously dressed even.

from:  M.Gandhi
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:58 IST

A sarcastic joke was authenticated as a writer's stand is just ridiculous. We have to look up at the point she is making about the double standards. Moreover, writer is in "Persepolis-movie aftereffect".
I can't really support the people arguing the dressing of the women invites molestation and rape. In India, even the nuns are being raped, women in pardah are raped - what do you say about that? The problem we face is the highly orthodox system, and pseudo-moral people.

from:  aswin
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:52 IST

We tend to blindly blame the West for all our ills without look at
ourselves. We react in a knee-jerk manner because we are deeply
insecure inside of any change. For all the self-appointed upholders of
"Indian culture", whatever that means, don't keep glorifying the old.
By that yardstick, women should not wear blouses--that is barely 150
years old. My hats off (or should it be Indian style turban?) to the
editor of The Hindu for publishing a well-written and biting letter,
full of humour and exposing our hypocrisy.

from:  K.Guruswamy
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:46 IST

Excellent. Enjoyed it thoroughly. The comments above make it all the more interesting!

from:  Sahithya
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:37 IST

Glad The Hindu published such a nice piece dripping with great lines. I
am surprised that most of the letter writers didn't get the satire in
it. Pity.

from:  R. Narasimhan
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:32 IST

Thanks, Suchi, for this gut-busting hilarious piece!

from:  G. Krishnan
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:31 IST

To the self-righteous men above, have you ever heard of a thing called

from:  C. Rao
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:23 IST

I think this is a good article. Imagine if woman could impose/force sex on men and they give these excuses. Get the picture? This is also very very relavant in rape/molestation cases. Where the males/and orthodox females blame all on the victim.

from:  karthik
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:16 IST

Ah, what a brilliant read. Loved the perspective and the double malt of
sarcasm. I have no qualms in assuming the ones who *took the bait* are
the ones *defined* in here.

from:  Alok S
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:15 IST

Guys, just enjoy the sarcasm. Will you?!

from:  Jyotsna
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:15 IST

hilarious,what a comparison!!

from:  shyam
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:13 IST

No wonder this article was written by a woman.It seems that the
general obligation towards the modesty of dressing has taken a toll on
the author quite effectively.While I was going through this article,I
was partly agreeing with the first quarter wherein the dressing of the
denomination is discussed.The second quarter however,reflects the
sheer consciousness of a woman determined to render the same impact on
the male dominated society that has laid impressions on her own
physical attire.This does not seem to be valid for the simple reason
that each person has their own instinct and wellness to dress
according to his/her own will. With due respect to the author,I would
like to conclude that to safeguard the society there are thousands of
better ways than commenting upon the attire of men or women as these
are mere small issues when seriously looked into.The richness of
Indian culture can be retained by its own people having a wider mind
frame of thought and deed.

from:  Priyanka Damle
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:14 IST

Good article. Exposes the hypocrisy in today's society towards women. Don't mind all those people who are criticizing you. Dear fellow readers who commented above, Suchi does not have anything against priests. Read it again and think of the things that are said to women today.

from:  Bhaskar
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:11 IST

A 'satire' need not be politically right! Wonder why people see excessive reasoning in a satire? It is not necessary that I agree with contents but wouldnt see any harm in a satire like this!

from:  Balaji
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 11:00 IST

Exactly how obtuse can people be?? To all of the above who are ranting and raving about how the author doesn't understand Indian traditions and such, the intent of the article is not to point fingers at the male sense of dress up, rather its highlighting male hypocrisy and chauvinism when it comes to women.
Isn't it true that when a woman gets molested, people are quick to remark on her clothing and conduct and just as speedily attribute the crime to that?? Isn't it true that men shameless defile public areas by voiding in public? The article is tries to point out that the way a woman dresses is a matter of choice not an 'attempt at vulgarity', just like the priests.
The article is simply, very intellectually, satirically and artistically attempting to bring into light a woman's right to freedom of expression, not condemning how Indian men dress.
Looks like people have completely missed the point. But then what else can you expect out of a society which treats women as objects?

from:  A. Thakkar
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 10:51 IST

Suchi! You nailed the issue bang, bang on its head....and wonder of wonders The Hindu has published it. You have not talked about the lungi and the 'dabba' kattu that adds to the exposure issue with the striped boxer shots revealed. Even film heroes and zeroes are revealing their abs and flabs!!
The comments too are interesting...revealing typical mind sets. Go for it girl! More from you.

from:  Padmini Natarajan
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 10:48 IST

hei suchi,
Good work.The comments above written above are clear indication of the double standard of our male dominated society.Cultural standard is dictated by males here by covering it in stupid religious rules.The situation is same in all orthodox countries.Especially among arabs.

from:  gopi
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 10:33 IST

it is true that there is gender discrimination in the dress code in India. we see in films and T.V serials, men stand with coat and tie, wearing western style of dress, and solemnly declaring to the wife, daughter or his lady love, she would be a true Bharathiya nari or an Indian woman, only when she wears sari. Why can't men also discard this western influence and wear dhoti to college, work place and everywhere instead of pants, which is worn by every male, whatever may be their social or economic status.

from:  Prabha Arun
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 10:26 IST

Everybody accepts that one should wear a dress which is acceptable as well as comfortable. At the same time, the way of author questioning the use of swimsuit, sports attire, and the zip is sheer over reaction and rhetoric. In villages most of us would have seen people bathing semi nakedly; i.e kids only in trousers, women in inner skirts and oldies in loin clothes at ponds, rivers and wells. I guess, the so called "tradition" the author speaks of is about the people who bathe in clothes inside temple tanks. The author should be reminded that times are changing, the influence of other cultures in Indian tradition (even here is Aryan-Dravidian fusion) had been there right through the ages and is nothing new, may be it exaggerated due to globalization.
The Hindu should consider twice before publishing these kind of articles.

from:  Dr.Viknesh
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 09:57 IST

Brilliant post. But I am sorry, the comments made me laugh much more! :D

from:  Alex
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 09:54 IST

I do not understand why most of those who have commented above fail to grasp the point of this witty article that intended to take a jibe at the double standards of our society when it comes to the dressing norms of men and women. Of course, for the sake of humor and sarcasm, certain points have been intentionally made to appear stupid but that was her point - I really appreciate the fact that till the end, she has not given away her motive and theme of reason. Really brilliant writing. Every day we see men around us dressing up casually and showing many body parts. Yet we are used to it. Yet why does the mind immediately turn on its rapt attention mode the minute we see a less modestly dressed woman? This basic socially conditioned fact is what Suchi has tried to call our attention to. The other day I went to Tirumala. I was wearing a loose kurti and pant. Half way into the queue, I was asked to go out and buy a 'shawl'. What, God was going to get turned on seeing me?

from:  Sinduja Ragunathan
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 09:54 IST

I believe Suchi is from an alien planet for she lacks even the basic knowledge about our social norms and history.I hate to inform her until the last quarter of the British reign in India even women were topless with the rare use of their sari to cover their modesty.This is not the example of being "primitive" but it shows our broad minded culture.Does she fail to see the culture which pioneered in trigonometry were enlightened to create the clothing system to suit climate and basic physical reqiurement.The factually incorrect "tradition" Suchi quotes about swimwear makes me believe that she dead fast against human anatomy and is immature,traditionally human swam naked or just with a negligible loin cloth;to prevent drag or drowning.As far as god is concerned,we believe in the concept that he/she is the supreme creator which Suchi is unheard off.The modest clothing signifies the aim to lose the self-consciousness before the almighty.If Suchi has her way she'll ban babies be born naked.

from:  Sangav
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 09:15 IST

Dear Author,

Your article seems to bear a lot of contempt toward the ancient and traditional
practices of India. I have no doubt that the article was meant to make a change that
would take away the sting in the minds of your ilk who look at every other thing with a
tinge of sex. I strongly doubt that your upbringing was not in India, from my childhood
days I have seen the priests in temples wearing the attire that fits your description but
have not had even the slightest of disgust. We do not pierce and strain our eyes to see
the brand of underwear he wears or concentrate on the body hair of his masculinity.
The real impurity lies in our minds and thoughts. For someone who comes to God's
presence, words like the ones you quoted evoke disgust. Learn to understand the
meaning of the age old practices before criticising them L-R-centre. Get well soon.

from:  Amal Paul
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 08:26 IST

Deeply disappointed with The Hindu publishing this ridiculous article!

from:  Prasanna Kumar
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 07:51 IST

Hilarious! It sheds light on the double-standards in the society towards women. The closing sentence forms the punch of this article. Kudos!

from:  Vasu
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 03:04 IST

I am not sure whether the author is making tongue in cheek statements or is indulging in politically correct statements. I am an old fashioned orthodox male. As long as I know the orthodox priests were not supposed to wear upper garments while performing ceremonies. In fact in orthodox temples even devotees have to remove their shirts before entering the temples. It is a time honoured ritual. No vulgarity was intended. Nor was their any fashion consciousness in wearing no shirts. When there was no evil or bad motive why should the author cast aspersions on such orthodoxic rituals. In fact accounts say that the ladies in India wore no blouses until the Victorian morals dictated a change. In fact today the diagnosis exhibitionism is applicable only to men but not women. Yet in psychiatric texts written in 1930s the diagnosis was applicable to both sexes. For heaven's sake do not attribute evil motives for things done in good faith.With open zippers I have walked absent mindedly often.

from:  T.S.Krishnaswamy
Posted on: Mar 11, 2012 at 01:14 IST
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