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Dress to Impress?





There are so many parameters that decide which strata of society you belong to or deserve to be. This must have been the most abrupt or random start to any piece that your read recently. But the thought process that is being referred here isn’t random at all. The society has devised a systematic algorithm to judge people based on how they dress, among many other parameters. And just like every other computer program, claims do exist that this algorithm is bug free.  

So, when the Delhi Golf Club decided to not let one of their guests enter their premises because the lady was dressed in a traditional Khasi attire; which the prestigious club believed resembled to what is worn by servants. It was obvious that this societal algorithm is totally bug free.  

Then again, as I write this, a news has emerged at that a man was denied entry into a mall in Kolkata because he was wearing dhoti. At a time when gau rakshaks are lynching people in the name of culture, a person was denied entry into a mall because he was wearing something very traditional and natural to the culture of India.


Surely, these societal norms never fail to surprise me. I have been very weak with spellings, but I am sure some of the wisest ones who governs us or sets these norms, fail to spell the word ‘logic’.

Many my colleagues have vehemently reminded me about the shabby dressing sense that I have. I have often been advised to dress better for people to take me seriously. Well, one I thought it was my work that decided that and two I dress to please myself, not others. But my colleagues are not wrong either.

So, one afternoon I attended a lunch were the buffet manager refused to serve me dessert as they had limited stock and he believed that I was not important enough. Now, he clearly wasn’t someone who studied and understood society as I do. But he followed a norm which he learnt with experience. Where did he acquire this understanding? What made him classify that I am not important enough to not get access to the limited reserved stock of dessert? Clearly my dressing style and body language. And for sure it’s impossible to wear an ID tag as to who I am everywhere that I go.

But what we wear is basically the default ID that we carry. And as I said earlier, only few of us exactly know how to spell the word ‘logic’, let alone understand the meaning of it.

This racial profiling of people based on what they wear has been a latent cancer within our society for a long time. From an effluent eatery in Kolkata to this mall incident, there must have been so many other incidents that gets away unnoticed. To my understanding this also is a residue of the Britishers, which we Indians proudly incorporated into our list of traditions.  And dare I question Indian culture and tradition. 
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Amlan Das Amlan Das Author

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