Men in the country seem to have a problem with a lot of things that women do (or don't). Women drinking beer scare men, women wearing jeans trouble them, women talking on the phone could cause violence, and so on and so forth.
The recent person to join the list of men-who-have-an-opinion-on-what-women-should-be-doing-even-though-women-frankly-couldn't-care-less is fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee.
Speaking at the Harvard India Conference, Sabyasachi criticised women, especially the younger generation, who do not know how to drape a saree.
"I think, if you tell me that you do not know how to wear a saree, I would say shame on you. It's a part of your culture, you need to buck up and stand up for it," he said, receiving applause from the audience. The event took place on Saturday, and the session was moderated by journalist Nidhi Razdan.
He also said that the saree is admired across the globe, and that Indian women are identified with it.
He then explained how the relationship between an Indian woman and saree is that of a human being and a serpent.
Yes, you read that correctly.
"It's a relationship of misunderstanding. You need to embrace the saree. Wars have been fought in saree. Grandmothers have slept in saree and have woken up without a single pleat out of their way," he added.
You can listen to his remarks here. Skip ahead to 3:32:40 - 3:33:11.
Conference Opening - India Conference 2018 Day 1Posted by India Conference 2018 on Saturday, 10 February 2018
To be fair, he also did mention the dhoti. "Indian women have kept alive the saree, but the dhoti is dead."
Did he shame men for not wearing dhoti anymore? No. But that is not required at all. Because it is perfectly possible to promote saree or dhoti or any other thing without having to shame someone for not using it.
The designer, known for turning heads with his creations, has now got heads nodding disapprovingly at his comments.
Maybe fewer young women are not wearing sarees because you're selling em for 80K bro pic.twitter.com/atGail8ehq— Tanmay Bhat (@thetanmay) February 12, 2018
Shame them if— Ragnarök (@AsYouNotLike) February 12, 2018
Don't know how to wear saree
Laugh too much
What next ?
Shame on them if they breathe ?
yaawnn. One more man sermonizing to women, telling us how to live our lives.— What'sInAName (@temporary_handl) February 12, 2018
"Indian women have kept alive the saree, but the dhoti is dead," the designer said much to the laughter and applause from the audience."— Zehra Kazmi (@ArhezImkaz) February 12, 2018
And yet @sabya_mukherjee decided to shame women, not men, for not being "connected to their roots".https://t.co/INJe0tfdbD
i was going to roll my eyes at this but apparently he said it "to thunderous applause" to a bunch of desis at harvard. happy for both parties, hope they leave women in india alone: https://t.co/0NynrnNNNh— Rosie Roti (@supriyan) February 12, 2018
(If you don’t know how to wear a saree, shame on you: Sabyasachi to Indian women) Like really??— Priyanka Bhatt (@iPriyankaBhatt) February 12, 2018
I may not know how to wear a Saree but it doesn't mean I am less Indian or I don't respect my culture. I can't say about the rest, but at least I don't think like that
Sabyasachi is every grandmother. https://t.co/HrevbnlmFx— Rachna Sharma (@Pun_ditayeen) February 12, 2018
Translation: Shame on you if you are not in the target group of my product. https://t.co/tgoMwdaYTx— Akhil (@akhilrex) February 12, 2018
Shame on Sabyasachi if he doesn't know how to make a samosa or dhokla. It's a part of his culinary culture. https://t.co/0jB0JUzgyQ— Siddharth Singh (@siddharth3) February 12, 2018
Hey Sabyasachi, thanks for your remark. Now if Anita Dongre and Steve Madden would kindly come forth with sexist remarks, I'll be cured of fashion forever.— Start-a-pakora India (@cowbai) February 12, 2018
“I think, if you tell me that you do not know how to wear a saree, I would say shame on you. It's a part of your culture, (you) need stand up for it.” You know what else is part of our culture? Patriarchy. Shame on you for perpetuating it. https://t.co/C0j2d8ss48— Rituparna Chatterjee (@MasalaBai) February 12, 2018
Where do I even start with the hypocrisies this man spews?— DM (@chulbuli_pandey) February 12, 2018
Lovely to have another privileged Indian man comment on a woman’s choice of clothing when a majority of the population can’t even afford his designs.
Bye @sabya_mukherjee, just leave. https://t.co/01wFUaH9WP
I want to comment on Sabyasachi’s statement but I’m too busy facepalming.— OvenTikka (@TandooriCutlet) February 12, 2018