No Jeans, No Mobiles: Of Dress Codes & Distasteful Diktats

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government is the latest to join the bandwagon of imposing dress codes. It has barred all government employees from wearing jeans, T-shirts and slippers in offices.

In a recent circular, the government said women employees should wear sari, salwar, churidar-kurta, trousers with a kurta or a shirt and a dupatta if required; men should wear trousers and shirts, The Indian Express reported.

It also advised employees against wearing “clothes with deep colours and strange embroidery patterns or pictures”.

Only ‘Decent & Formal Attire’

Earlier this year, the Madhya Pradesh government had issued a circular that barred government officials and employees in the state’s Gwalior division from wearing faded jeans and t-shirts in office. Instead, they were asked to wear “dignified, decent and formal attire”, an NDTV report stated.

No Jeans In Secretariat

In 2019, the Bihar government had reportedly issued an order that banned all employees, irrespective of rank, from wearing jeans and t-shirts in the state secretariat. Instead, they were asked to wear “simple, sombre and light-coloured attire” to office.

Saris For Students

In 2018, the then Rajasthan government came up with a dress code for students, asking them to wear salwar kameez or saris on college premises instead of “western outfits”. The rule, however, was revoked after receiving a lot of flak from students.

No ‘Pakistani Name’

The owner of Mumbai’s iconic Karachi Sweets was forced to cover the word “Karachi” on the billboard with newspaper after a Shiv Sena leader, Nitin Nandgaokar, seemingly threatened him to change the name of the shop, The New Indian Express reported.

As a video of showing Nandgaokar asking the Karachi Sweets owner to change the name of the outlet went viral, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had to step in to control the damage. The Sena spokesperson tweeted that the demand for changing the name of Karachi Bakery had nothing to do with the party.

No Mobiles For Girls

In 2014, a khap panchayat in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh banned the use of mobile phones and wearing jeans for girls. This year, the panchayat advised men to not go to public places in half pants as it is “distasteful,” according to an ANI report.

Swag Shout

On the other hand, Pepsi launched an advertisement centred on the pop-culture word “swag” to decry dress codes.

The beverage brand’s high-decibel summer campaign “Har ghoont mein swag” (swag in every gulp) targeted millennials by highlighting their attitude of self-belief which leads to self-confident actions, Mint reported.

The ad featured a young college student who stands up to the principal who has imposed a strict dress code on campus. The film highlights how millennials are taking on the arbitrary rules imposed on them albeit with a hint of swag.

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