Sabyasachi Mukherjee is a name associated with HauteÂ Indian couture and is endorsed widely by Bollywood leading ladies. At the recently held Harvard India Conference, the designer commented on women â€“ especially the younger generation – who do not know how to drape a sari. â€œI think, if you tell me that you do not know how to wear a sari, I would say shame on you. Itâ€™s a part of your culture, (you) need to stand up for it,â€ he said.
For saying this, the designer was criticized widely, receiving backlash via Twitter and other platforms for his â€˜patriarchal and anti-feministâ€™ comment. People questioned why he would not say the same when he mentioned men not wearing dhotis. Others also commented on his extravagantly priced ensembles.
To begin, allow me to sincerely apologise for the words that I used while answering impromptu questions at a conference at Harvard. I am sorry that I used the word â€˜shameâ€™ in reference to some womenâ€™s inability to wear a sari. I truly regret that the way in which I tried to make a point about the sari enabled it to be interpreted as misogynistic, patriarchal, and non-inclusive â€“ this was certainly not my intention. Let me provide some context for those of you who may not have listened to the speech I gave at Harvard. A woman had asked me to comment on the cultural taboo of young women wearing saris because, as she said, society tells them that it â€˜makes them look olderâ€™. â€˜What is your suggestionâ€™, she asked, â€˜for those young generations, to break that taboo and embrace the sariâ€¦â€™ Unbeknownst to many, this is a question I field often with friends and customers. The ubiquity of such sentiments in our culture, evidenced by the fact that this question was posed to me at Harvard, of all places, was hard-hitting and triggered an unfortunate series of reactions on my part. Sometimes, when you are that invested in your craft, you become hypersensitive to the negativity surrounding that which you love. #Sabyasachi #TheWorldOfSabyasachi
The designer has since apologized via an open letter on Instagram. “… Allow me to sincerely apologise for the words that I used while answering impromptu questions at a conference atÂ Harvard.Â I am sorry that I used the word ‘shame’ in reference to some women’s inability to wear aÂ sari.Â I truly regret that the way in which I tried to make a point about theÂ sariÂ enabled it to be interpreted as misogynistic, patriarchal, and non-inclusive – this was certainly not my intention,” he wrote.
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