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Debate over female singer's dress code

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  19 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

‘...Why should I listen to them when they, attired in denim, ask me to wear mekhala-chador? The onus to preserve our culture is on all of us, not on the girls alone... The instrument I was supposed to play is of 12 kg. I did chose the special dress as it would have been difficult for me to play the heavy instrument attired in mekhala-chador... The agreement that I signed with the Bihu committee only mentions Bihu-related modest dresses. I don’t think the dress I was attired in last night was immodest' – Zubli


By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, April 18: Dress code has been a bone of contention in various communities. Barely has there been a lull in the protest by cultural cops against Bollywood numbers rending state air during the Bihu, a fresh debate, this time around, on dress code for Bihutalis is set for a bout.

The bout, involving popular female singer Zubli, got its initiation from Pub-Guwahati Bihu Sanmilani at Chandmari in Guwahati last night. With the electronic media picking it up, it is being drawn into a major issue involving all and sundry into it across the state.

It so happened that Zubli went to the Bihu Sanmilani to perform. She was attired in a dress that made the Bihu committee feel ill at ease. The committee let the singer know their feelings. The result is such that the singer had to go back without performing. With the incident becoming a ‘big issue’ and spreading like a wildfire in the length and breadth of the state, the Bihu committee had to make their stand clear in a hurriedly-convened press meet at its office in Guwahati today.

Pub-Guwahati Bihu Sanmilani president Ranjan Bora and other office-bears said: “We did raise our opposition to the dress attired in by Zubli last night to perform in the Bihu function. She was attired in a dress that was a blend of Karbi and Tiwa dresses. We requested her to wear mekhala-chador as the dress she was attired in would only dishonour our tradition and as such culture. She, however, reacted to it sharply and remained adamant to her standpoint. We’ve nothing to say what she prefers to wear in other functions, but in Bihu functions she shouldn’t wear anything that may dishonour our tradition. She has let it become a point of debate just to save her own skin.”

Zubli, on the other hand, said: “The dress I was attired in last night didn’t dishonour the tradition of the ethnic tribes concerned. The Bihu committee didn’t request me either. Why should I listen to them when they, attired in denim, ask me to wear mekhala-chador? The onus to preserve our culture is on all of us, not on the girls alone. The menfolk performing in the Bihu function on that night should have come attired in dhuti-kurta. I just wanted to make the performance an exceptiol one. The instrument I was supposed to play is of 12 kg. I did chose the special dress as it would have been difficult for me to play the heavy guitar attired in mekhala-chador. I don’t want to make it a debate. The agreement that I signed with the Bihu committee only mentions Bihu-related modest dresses. I don’t think the dress I was attired in last night was immodest.”

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