Now they want you to dress ‘appropriately’ at monuments too
"An argument was put forward by the community that strict dress codes are followed in places of worship like the Golden Temple, then why not Imambara?"
The district administration of Lucknow has issues a statement that ‘revealing clothes’ are an absolute no if you want to visit the centuries old chota and bada Imambaras at Lucknow. The decision was taken after relentless persuasion from Shia community in the capital. As per them people visiting Imambara in short dresses hurt their religious sentiments. An argument was put forward by the community that strict dress codes are followed in places of worship like the Golden Temple, then why not Imambara?
Well, to start with the two Imambaras are ASI protected monuments and popular tourist spots. Any such ban is going to adversely affect the tourism in the capital. It’s incomprehensible why there is such a rush to decide other’s clothes in India. The worse a government can do is fuel such demands, which apparently the UP government has just done.
Just imagine, visiting a monument in Lucknow and the guard putting his hand up while you are about to enter the premises. While you stand confused he silently points at your shorts. You are denied entry in ASI protected monument because you chose to wear shorts on a hot summer day. Today it’s imambara, tomorrow it can be the Taj Mahal or Humayun’s tomb. There are people out there who have nothing else to do but interfere in other’s choices.
It’s understandable when places of worship, like the Jama Masjid in Delhi or Golden temple impose strict dress codes. They are of historic importance but are active prayer centres. It’s a religious thing. But places like Imambara have grown into popular tourist spots with guides giving tours to various halls and alleys of the monument which have no other purpose to serve other than tourism. A monument and popular tourist spot should only be welcoming, regardless of what one is wearing.
Apart from the dress code, the district administration has also prohibited professional photography in the campus of the two monuments. What next? Hauzkhas?