Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Yet another moral policing on women

It seems the honourable Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of Tamil Nadu have found nothing worth debating in the State Assembly that on 29 January 2008 they keenly debated on what kind of dress should women of the state wear. It highlights the manner in which the legislators might have wanted to spend their time in the Assembly House while ignoring serious matters which need serious attention.

The short dress of Tamil film actress Shriya Saran of superhit “Sivaji: The Boss” in a public function has turned to be ingredients for a sizzling debate in the Assembly House.

Some conservative MLAs of ruling ally Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) found the dress of the Tamil actress too revealing to warrant a debate in the assembly to bring a law on women dress code. The actress had on 11 January 2008 appeared in a short dress at a public function to celebrate the silver jubilee of the film.

Instead of women’s wardrobe, the legislators should discuss, among others, as to how to protect women and children from abuses and make their lives safer and happier. According to the National Crime Records Bureau of the Ministry of Home Affairs, a total of 6489 cases of violence against women (including 457 rape cases) have been reported from Tamil Nadu in 2006 which is about 4% of the total national cases of violence against women in the same year. Also, a total of 353 cases of violence against children including 125 cases of rape have been reported from Tamil Nadu in 2006.

Many of the MLAs who have protested the actress may have daughters who go out in “revealing dresses” to the night clubs to have fun. Yet, they have no control over their daughters. This is mere hypocrisy. It is like asking others to be nationalist by going to vernacular medium schools while sending their children to study in Oxford or Cambridge or the like.

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