Monday, 21 December 2009

Nandan Nilekani's first day in Parliament - Of Culture's and Dress Code

I read this today after some of my friends tweeted around it that said Nandan Nilekani's first day in parliament... For those of you who are unaware of who this person is and why he is on my post please refer here , here and here...

The whole post is nice for some reasons and not very inspiring to me for others.. A Technocrat when travels to be a Cabinet Minister it inspires me on my way to get into politics sometime in my life… if not for changing the world at least helping my hand in changing India.. What disturbed me in the post is listed below as mentioned in the write-up:

“It was Minister of Textiles who had a comment to make before the next point on the agenda. He made a request that I should be attired in a more austere way instead of a flashy suit. It did not go well with the image of a minister who should live to serve the common man and should be less ostentatious in his habits. I stood up to reply. I offered my apologies to the Honourable Minister and assured that I shall be in a more acceptable dress next time. I felt that he was right. We also used to have corporate dress code in Infosys. So it's here as well!!!! I sat down and felt somebody nudging me. I turned around and to my surprise; it was the former Indian skipper and one of my favorite batsman Mohd. Azharuddin. I remembered that he had recently won the elections. I smiled at him and mentioned to him that I used to like his game very much, shaking his hand. No Rolex, I noticed. Azhar told me that he would “fix” me an appointment with an Italian designer who had designed his dapper Kurta suit. An Italian designer in Milan doing Kurtas!!!!! I made a note of this and reminded myself to give this example to Friedman for his next book,” The World Markets are flattened”.

Though I would treat “attired in a more austere way instead of a flashy suit” to be as attired in a less flashy suit… How many of Indians do think that if a politician is wearing a Khadi, he is as genuine as Gandhiji? Or how many of Indians feel that being a politician you are working for improvement of lower class only? OK forget what others think and feel… As self do you think if you don’t wear attire that suite what our minister called “austere” you would do less? And then have the dress that is designed by some famous designer for money that can be used to feed hundreds of poor Indians for a few years? Amazing isn’t it? Anyways my point is not to criticize what Mr. Nilekani wrote…instead to point the RULE that asks people to wear specific attire for reasons “unreasonable”

Dress Code’s… I think they are nice to have but to determine the minimum code rules that need to be followed with dressing in different places… I would imagine a dress code to be followed when you represent your company, organization or country with those extended others who you call clients, customers, vendors, diplomats or other nation’s representatives… You need to be wearing reasonable attire that can keep up to the reputation of your organization. Does enforcing dress code means that people really refer to the dress code and the moral behind it? BTW what is the exact reason to have dress code? I know that in some BPO’s and companies’ people are asked to be “Formally dressed” which means that a formal attire that doesn’t say that you are partying while at office or you just returned back from a disco.

There was a lot of fiasco when Sania Mirza and another tennis player wore casuals in the Beijing Olympics parade … read more about it here and people crumbled and cribbed about culture and attire ethics not followed… but what if somebody chooses to follow the dress code and find runaways to the clauses? Eventually Mandira Bedi Saree controversy cannot be easily forgotten… read here …

So over and over.. here is my view on dress code’s
Dress code’s needs to be event based.
Dress code need to determine what you cannot wear and not what you should wear.
Dress code should be based on profession and the type of work people do.
Dress code should be not to enforce people to buy new things or wear things they are not comfortable with.
In other words
Dress code should be replaced with a plain guideline to not be very casually dressed and leave the mature people who represent our teams, organization, cultures, states and nations to decide what best attire can represent it.

Your views….