Opinion | Letters

Letters: August 6, 2013

Readers discuss the Gulf News report about the man who was not allowed to travel on the Dubai Metro because he was wearing a dhoti

  • Gulf News Readers
  • Published: 20:08 August 5, 2013
  • Gulf News

Understand the difference

It is important to understand that dhotis are the traditional attire of people from Tamil Nadu, a southern state in India (‘Man wearing dhoti not allowed on Dubai Metro,’ Gulf News, August 4). And when I say traditional attire, it also means the formal attire of the state. The people of Tamil Nadu wear it for their social, cultural and formal occasions with pride. Even during a marriage, a bridegroom wears the dhoti. It’s important to understand the difference between a dhoti and a lungi. A dhoti is a cotton based all-white formal wear. A lungi is a colourful garment, which looks similar, yet supposed to be worn indoors. The chief minister of the state and its parliamentarians wear the dhoti regularly to work. It’s unfortunate that people, especially Indians don’t recognise this as formal wear. As long as the garment covers the whole body and does not expose any part in an indecent manner, people should be allowed to wear it. It’s important that we spread awareness about this and clarify issues so that another elder is not embarrassed.
From Mr Sony
Dubai

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It’s culture

Those who have a problem with people wearing a dhoti should also remember that Mahatma Gandhi wore dhoti all the time and is considered one of the most influential personalities, internationally, of the past century. The question is, would the police officer stop a Scotsman, wearing his traditional kilt, from travelling on the Metro?

From Mr Gerald
Dubai

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Consistency

If the dhoti is not allowed in the country then the person should have been warned by the airport authorities on arrival. Consistency would have kept him from embarrassment.
From Mr Naik
Dubai

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Respect

The UAE is a progressive country and has every right to stop an individual wearing indecent clothing on the train. It has nothing to do with the age or the nationality of the person. A few years ago a similar incident happened when a South Indian man wearing a mundu (similar to the dhoti) was riding a bike in Dubai. Being expatriates, we need to respect the laws of the country we live in. It’s not that difficult to avoid wearing a dhoti in public.
From A Reader
Abu Dhabi

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Confusion

For those who think that the Ihram is the same as a dhoti, it’s not! And for those who think that Ihram was the traditional outfit of the Arabs in the old days, it wasn’t! Ihram is only used by Arabs for pilgrimage to Mecca and once the pilgrimage is over, the Ihram is off.
From Mr Mohammad Al Edroos
Dubai

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Farmers

Wearing a dhoti is very common in rural India, especially by farmers, who grow grains for us. I think we should have some consideration for them.

From Mr Suresh Kumar
Dubai

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Follow the rules

We all need to abide by the rules of the country. The UAE law knows what is best for the people living here. If the rule is not to wear a dhoti or a lungi, it should be respected. People are free to wear their traditional attire back home. Age is not the criteria.
From Ms Sujatha
Dubai

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Be fair

If an elderly person is wearing decent and comfortable clothes, how does that matter to anyone else? When this city welcomes people from different parts of the world, it should also welcome their culture. This is a personal issue of the police officer and this should not be accepted. People in public service should be fair to everyone. It must be such an embarrassment for that elderly gentlemen and his daughter.

From Ms Sandhya
Dubai

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Personal issue

I am surprised that this police officer had a personal issue with the dhoti, as the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and police do not object. Dhoti is traditional Indian attire and deserves to be accorded same respect as any other traditional attire. We as Indians respect all traditions and never insult foreigners in India and we expect the same from others. This incident should be investigated. For the information of some people in this discussion, a dhoti covers the body appropriately and can reveal if not worn appropriately, however the same logic applies to other attires.
From Mr Mukesh
Dubai

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It’s decent

Dhoti is certainly not an indecent dress. The defence minister of India attends and travels across the globe wearing the same. Is it wrong or shameful to wear your traditional attire?
From Ms Anamika
Dubai
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Consider the age

The police personnel should have considered the age of the passenger - 67 years. I am sure he never wore pants or any other modern clothing. If this incident happened to a younger person, I would be on the side of the policeman. But, in this case it is a little harsh.
From Ms S.A.
Abu Dhabi

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A personal choice

We don’t like many types of attire when we are out on the road, but that doesn’t mean we can force someone to follow our choice. I never wore a dhoti but I would never mind someone else wearing it.
From Mr Ahmed
Dubai

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It can be revealing

A dhoti can be a slightly risky garment. It can fly apart with strong gusts of wind, or in a crowded train, which the Dubai Metro usually is, thus revealing more than intended. Maybe the policeman was aware of this. Of course, Mahatma Gandhi wore a dhoti to Buckingham Place for a state dinner and was not turned away. This elderly man and his daughter could, perhaps, have provided such historical references.

From Ms Asha Gidwani
Sharjah

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Comments (60)

  1. Added 16:10 August 6, 2013

    If the man was not allowed to ride the Metro whilst wearing the dhoti then all the women who are found riding the Metro wearing indecent and skimpy clothes which expose various parts of the body should also be banned from the Metro!

    Hafsa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:04 August 6, 2013

    Friends, I am quite amazed reading comments about this topic that has been stretched and blown out of proportion. Due respects to all that has been written and said. While we understand that the dhoti is a traditional Indian attire and is respectful in all aspects we also need to understand that this was a fairly judgemental error on the part of the policeman deputed at the Metro Station. Maybe he felt something was not right at that time to have acted in that manner. Sad for the person and his family though for having to go through such embarrassment. We live in a cosmopolitan society and the UAE is a very progressive nation. So lets not be judgemental and be bias towards any nationality and/or its culture. Let our authorities decide what is right and what is wrong. Live and let live.

    K F, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 14:39 August 6, 2013

    Everyone respect law here but the law never say do not wore Dhoti here.

    jayarajan, Dubai, Deira., India

  4. Added 14:37 August 6, 2013

    I think being islamic, we do wear ihram during haj/umra acceptable to Allah, moreover july/aug gulf regions mostly hot/ don,t mind alowing Dhotis. When uae allows universal dress code for ladies ike short pants Etc why not allow tradtional dress allowed n public places. I would like To personally thank the security persons for high lighting this dhoti Issue as it advertise in directly the countries law. I love dubai ruler very much for his simplicity and The founder of uae. When allowed western dress code universally why not Dhotis. My humble request to dubai authorities to help to Safeguard others interests

    DHABIR, JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia

  5. Added 14:26 August 6, 2013

    Dubai authorities are the one to decide what to wear in public areas not that i will decide that my traditional dress is liked by my country men now all countries has to follow it. dhoti or lungi whatever may be my best dress but same time may be other people dont like it at all. leave your tradition back home and work when you go back you can be traditional again in your own house. RTA will not stop you. thanks there is nothing to take it seriously.

    faisal, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 14:12 August 6, 2013

    well, off late we all do make a hue and cry of instances whether significant or not. Just pass this off as a judgmental error from the part of the Policeman. Thank god the affected Dhoti clad gentleman was not PC Chidambaram - Union Minister of Finance- India who most of the times is dressed in Dhoti- :) So yes, in this holy month of Ramadan, let's forgive and forget this incident. Am sure RTA and Dubai Govt will look into this and come out with corrective measures as always!!

    Kumar, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 13:38 August 6, 2013

    What about women wearing revealing clothes and travelling by the metro. They should be stopped first.

    shazia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 13:31 August 6, 2013

    So what about the dress code for women? That should also be decent.

    A READER, ABUDHABI, India

  9. Added 13:17 August 6, 2013

    I remain astonished with the move that how one can have problem with Dhoti. RTA should establish a written note and Display it on all entry and exit points that dhoti is not allowed. I appreciate the government should undertake this issue and enforce the law where every body is equally treated under umbrella of law.

    Sumit, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 13:15 August 6, 2013

    Those who posted their comments opposing the old genteleman wearing Dhoti , must know that by wearing dhoti is not insulting/disobeying the laws of the country. As no law in UAE prevent wearing of Dhoti( The respectfull traditional wear in states of India). many ladies wearing skirts and travelling in Metro should be stopped.As acknowledged earlier by official of Dubai, it could be the personal feeling of the policeman and there is no rule.

    Kamal, Abudhabi, United Arab Emirates

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