4.10.06

Katrina's legs in Ajmer

Actress Katrina Kaif’s legs making headlines. She prayed at the Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti dargah in Ajmer wearing a skirt. I wonder how this has become news. Who leaked it out? Is it because this was part of the shooting of a film?

Sarwar Chisti, spokesperson of the Anjuman, which is the elected body of representatives of Khadims said, “Nobody objected to this but the media took up the issue and created the controversy.’’

A report in the TOI further states, “Chisti said many celebrities come to the Dargah and it was not the Khadims’ job to look down at their legs and see what they were wearing.”

This sort of composure is admirable. There are two ways of looking at the issue.

1. I have visited several places of worship for whatever reason and I think it is important to be dressed appropriately. Mainly because in most religions you have to be seated on the floor and baring legs makes it difficult. This is not a gender issue. You do not see men wearing shorts, unless they are really desperate desis trying to appear hip. Besides, I just do not see the logic of covering your head if you do not cover your legs.

2. Why are the devotees looking at these stars instead of doing their job as believers? And if god has created the human being and her/his anatomy, then as long as there is no vulgar display it should not be seen as offensive. I find it more disgusting to watch women in hijaab (I am talking about the cursory head scarves) in some ‘progressive’ Muslim countries wearing tight-fitting shirts and skirts/slacks. Even in Pakistan, they may cover their heads, but see how the kameezes are cut at the sides – they rise almost up to the hip. Not only does it look undignified, it is also an assault on aesthetics as you can see the line of the salwaar where the ‘band’ stops and the pleats begin.

I find that these religious standard forms of clothing are becoming more and more victims of fashion, which defeats the purpose. If the reason is modesty, then how does it work? What is the point of hiding your hair and wearing electric blue eye-shadow and glitter on your cheeks?

Regarding the Ajmer episode, many temples in fact have a mandatory dress code. Some of them even have counters where you can borrow a saree or long cloth to wrap around you, even if you are not baring your legs.

I do not protest to this because it is the custom and if I have problems I should just stay away. Honestly, one should have better places where one can bare one’s legs.

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