- The subject matter must be intriguing as well as easily comprehendible for the majority of us. Liberal thinking and progressively looking forward to even more ease of living standards in any country would not even bother about what one’s sartorial choices should be. Again, the majority will vociferously suggest that it simply doesn’t matter what clothes citizens should wear. Notably, the freedom of choice and expression guaranteed in any civilized society will never attempt to impose whatever form of restrictions vis-à-vis basic amenities like food, clothes, caste, class, gender, or religion for that matter. A society with an anachronistic and patriarchal mindset cannot be classified as progressive nor in line with the present-day fast-evolving world. No questions.
- Needless to mention, an advancing society will always uphold gender equality, parity, unbiased treatment, and a level playing field for every citizen irrespective of caste, creed, or class. This is where the Constitutionally mandated rights ensure citizens are not subjected to unfair treatment. This may be the mantra for a country embracing democracy as a mode of governance. What about those nations whose governments are authoritarian, despotic, monarchist, dictatorial, and generally exhibiting naked anathema to side with the majority voices? God forbid the plights of citizens of those countries. Of course, we know how the Taliban from Afghanistan whose oppressive regime has subdued the voice of women from every aspect of dignified life.
- We also have China where single-party Communists rule the roost condescendingly suppressing people’s voices. Remember, individual liberties have always been iffy in China with restrictions imposed on several matters of routine interests. It appears the Communist regime is going one step ahead in its zeal to enforce total controls on the private lives of its citizens. This is more sinister for sure. For the uninitiated, the most recent jaw-dropper is a proposed legislative change that will mandate detention and fines for wearing clothing detrimental to the spirit of the Chinese people. Really? Sounds familiar though, doesn’t it? One wonders, is this a superpower speaking or the Taliban? Does it sound familiar even in a democratic country like India? Of course, I mentioned it.
- One thing’s for sure. Like all other attempts to moral police what people wear, the two demographics worst affected will be women and the young. Note that youth unemployment in China is so bad that the government has stopped publishing data on it. As for women, the family values pressure on them is rising as the country’s population is decreasing. Also, note that the politburo is women-free for the first time in decades. As Chinese social media overflows with widespread anger against the proposal, the broader question is what more and more ideological straitjacketing will do to all the human capital, which alone can offset China’s population decline. Authorities threatened by citizens’ choices of dress and speech do no good to the country they profess to love. Let this be a warning for moral police everywhere.