Prescription from Dr Sapam Ranjan Traditional clothes in office

Prescription from Dr Sapam Ranjan Singh but a prescription that is far removed from dealing with any physical ailment that an individual may be suffering from. And what better platform than to give such a prescription while expounding on the handloom and handicraft items of Manipur on the second day of Manipur International Textile Expo on November 6. Not a prescription for any physical ailment that an individual may be suffering from, but it is obvious that to the good doctor, nothing beats than promoting one’s own traditional clothes to ‘advertise’ the local products to the big, wide world. Sure no sense of urgency may be noted in the stand of the Honourable Health Minister but the unsaid rings loud and clear. In many ways the Minister was hinting broadly that the public has a big role to play in promoting the local handloom and handicraft products and obvious that it is his belief that wearing traditional clothes to office at least once a week will go some way in promoting local products. No one can fault him here, but it is not clear how well the stand of the Minister would have gone down with the people especially the womenfolk. The important questions that may be raised at this point of time is how comfortable are the traditional clothes ? Are they suited for office work or mainly for rites and rituals and while attending any of the traditional dos, such as during a marriage, during a  swasti puja, while going for Ningol Chakkouba etc etc. Another important question at this point of time is, how about the males or the men ? Can one expect men in general to come to office clad in their pheijom and pummayat ? How comfortable will be a pheijom and a pummayat in attending office. Moreover are the Government offices here built in such a way that they are suitable for a woman decked up in the traditional fineries to come to office and dispense with her duty? To Shakespeare and many others, maybe including Dr Sapam Ranjan, ‘clothes maketh a man’. But should the identity of a people or a place depend on what the employees wear while attending to their daily chores in a Government office ?
Dress code. There is a reason why there are so many places which have laid down their code of behaviour, including a dress code and one is left wondering whether traditional dresses in office can come under the understanding of a dress code. Moreover questions may well be raised on whether the culture of Manipur is so threatened that its identity or image depends to a large extent on what its people wear. There can be endless debates on this, but the important question is whether there is any intrinsic tie between what a Government employee wears and his or inputs for the overall development of the department or the Government. No easy answer here and the jury may still be out there somewhere studying the impact of such a line of thinking. Will wearing traditional clothes to office at least once a week lead to more productivity is a question which should pique the interests of everyone. Sartorial taste and productivity and this definitely is a new line and extends beyond the line, clothes maketh a man. Perhaps research scholars may chip in their bit and see how wearing traditional clothes or not wearing them can impact on the performance of the employee in question here. Clothes and it is interesting to see that a young doctor and a Minister to boot is of the opinion that urging Government employees to wear traditional clothes while attending office at least once a week can go some way in promoting local products. A new line of approach to promote local products and whether the suggestion from the good doctor will find any takers or not is a matter of speculation at the moment. Remember it is just a suggestion and not a directive and rightly so. Leave the choice to the employees concerned.