Rajkot mayor instructs girls not to wear tight-fitting clothes or jeans as they ‘go against Indian culture’
It seems Rajkot girls will now have to battle a ‘dress fatwa’. Raksha Boliya, mayor of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation, has issued a diktat asking girls not to wear denim trousers and tight-fitting dresses that do not befit the Hindu culture. The mayor is from the Bharatiya Janata Party which controls the civic body.
On Tuesday, at a seminar on marriages abroad, the mayor said, “I have noticed that most of you are wearing jeans. You should not be wearing them, but if you still insist on wearing them then you should wear long tops over it.” Otherwise, she said, such clothes do not go well with the Indian culture. To the college-going girls, she said: “All of you should also avoid tight-fitting clothes as it goes against our culture.”
Interestingly, the seminar was organised by Gujarat State Non-Resident Gujarati Foundation (GSNRGF), a state government initiative, set up to create awareness among girls marrying men settled abroad. What is significant is that the event was launched as a precursor to the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) programme to be held at Mahatma Mandir Convention Centre in Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar from January 7 to January 9.
BJP member Raksha Boliya made the remarks during a seminar on marriages abroad on Tuesday
Boliya said Gujarati NRIs “know that a Gujarati girl will respect the culture and remain loyal to the family she is married into”. Then she advised the girls: “Do respect the country you immigrate to but don’t get waylaid by it. Ensure that you make Gujarati culture stand out in the new milieu.”
Rajkot-based woman lawyer Bhavna Joshipura counselled: “Don’t rush into marriages with youngsters living abroad and carry out a proper background check.” She pointed out that those going abroad on ‘dependent’ visas did not get work permits and so women remain hinged to their husbands and their careers.
She advised young women that they should keep their immigration and academic qualification papers handy to ensure they are well equipped to handle any marital discords later. Citing several instances of trouble, Joshipura stated that there is a domestic violence in the United States too and this was a confirmation that such violence existed in the western countries. She then said it was crucial for Gujarati women to keep their cell phones, money and immigration documents ready in case of any trouble.
Similar views were expressed by GSNRGF manager D.G. Chaudhary. He said the foundation does not advocate against marrying overseas but cautions against fraudulent tie-ups.