The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Dhoti allowed, denim abhorred

Patna, Aug. 25 (PTI): The next time you see a state babu wearing dhoti-kurta, donít mistake it for nationalist fervour.

A directive to all civil servants has made trendy denim, sporty T-shirts and garish attire a strict no-no for the bureaucrats.

Chief secretary A.K. Chaudhary, in the order issued yesterday, has asked men officers to wear shirts, bush-shirts and trousers in light shades, preferably grey or white. Women officials should be clad in conventional saris or salwar-kameez, with a dupata thrown across, in plain and non-garish shades.

The men, however, have a breather as they can wear to office the traditional dhoti-kurta, the staple dress of the rural folk in the Hindi heartland.

The directive comes after Patna High Court had on August 7 rebuked two Bihar administrative service officers for wearing check-shirt and bright T-shirt to court. The officers were also fined Rs 5,000 each.

Justice S.K. Katariyar had imposed the penalty on additional collector of Munger R.N. Chaudhary and executive magistrate N.K. Singh. The officers had appeared before the court for a contempt of court hearing.

Cabinet secretary Girish Shanker said the directive was only a reiteration of the dress code existing for decades. The code was prepared in early 1950s but officers began overlooking it over the years and hence the need for a fresh directive, he added.

Bihar bureaucrats, however, can be happy that their fate is better than that of eight teachers in Bishnupur in Bengal.

On August 21, students and guardians had held the teachers of Bakhrahat Girls High School in South 24-Parganas in Bengal hostage till late evening. The teachers had made the mistake of wearing salwar-kameez, defying a resolution passed by the government-aided schoolís managing committee. The panel had made it mandatory for teachers to wear saris.

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