Ace fashion designer Sabyasachi recently made a strange comment on women recently. He was invited for a talk at the Harvard India Conference where he made the following statement which was met with a thunderous applause –
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.
Many people, including fellow designer Masaba Gupta took offense to his statement –
Can someone talk about how women should just wear/do/eat/drink what they like instead of constantly putting strange badges on them basis what they can’t do.pls leave us alone,in our torn jeans,chugging beer,cackling away.. OR NOT!
— Masaba Mantena (@MasabaG) February 13, 2018
First they shame women for drinking beer, laughing too loud, studying too much and now for not knowing how to wear a saree? Dude go back to designing stuff for the crooked millionaires and not do anything for the country! #Sabyasachi
— Deveshi Chandan (@tooth_crazy) February 12, 2018
#Sabyasachi Yet another entitled Indian male tries to tell Indian women how they should behave. @sabya_mukherjee Do you even hear the words coming out of your mouth or are you really that self-involved? Oh, you're a fashion celeb. Never mind.
— Abhishek Uchil (@abhishekuchil89) February 13, 2018
#Sabyasachi if you truly care about Indian women adorning sarees more often, how about making your brand affordable, so that the very students you were addressing at the conference, can buy one!
— Mamta Tripathi (@MamtaTripathi) February 14, 2018
One more man trying to tell us women how we're supposed to live, how we deserved to be ashamed, and what our culture is supposed to be. Shame on me, I can't wear a saree all by myself. ?? #Sabyasachi https://t.co/eXBMmn0mRU
— Arunima Gururani (@arunimagururani) February 12, 2018
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
Here’s what Sabyasachi had to say about his statement after the backlash –
What was intended to be a comment on celebration of our clothing history and heritage became a debate on feminism. This is not a gender issue. Since the question was about the saree, women were involved. I would take the same stand on men’s national clothing too. I have not made any statement on a woman’s choice on what she wishes to wear which is always her own prerogative.