Fans defend Priyanka Chopra on her ‘British aristocrat’ dress

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Former Samata Party president and textile revivalist Jaya Jaitly was disappointed to see that Indian actor Priyanka Chopra opted to dress up like a “British aristocrat” at the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. She says she could have opted for a “beautiful” sari as independent India has so much to show to the world, the Hindustan Times reported.

On the day of the wedding, Jaitly had tweeted: “How sad an Indian actor attending the royal wedding in the UK should dress like a British aristocrat at Ascot rather than represent a free and independent India in a beautiful sari.”

However, her comments did not sit well with Priyanka’s fans and they defended her choice of outfit saying that the actor has the right to wear whatever she wants and that she was attending a friend’s wedding and not representing India.

Building on that another user wrote, “How does wearing saree make you more of an Indian? What a wasteful argument.. Women like you makes it difficult for other women to flourish because the only weapon weapon is saree & sanskaar..intellect, independent, empowered is the new attire, not saree!”

Others also questioned Jaitly’s decision to tweet in English rather than in Hindi.

“Completely unfair criticism of a woman who has done enough and more to put India on the World Map. If she is creating an international image for herself, how is that sad? She isn’t doing anything dishonourable. Would you ask why Modi doesn’t go touring in Kurta pyjama?” another user wrote.

For the royal occassion, Priyanka donned a lilac Vivian Westwood skirt suit. Her dress also landed her on several international publications’ ‘best dressed’ lists. But none of that was enough to impress Jaitly who criticised Bollywood stars for their fashion choices in an interview to IANS.

“All these actors, they dress up in all these fancy gowns by fancy designers who pay them for wearing their outfits and so they get fat money. Now, I keep feeling as I am loyal to our weavers and our textiles in India and we are working all our lives to revive it,“ she said.

“Even in Hollywood (red carpets), where if I see Deepika Padukone wearing long gowns… they never really can compete. It’s like Indian fashion designers trying to do western dresses… Why don’t they wear most beautiful gorgeous sari, and everyone will go ‘wow’.”

Some Twitter users reminded Jaitly how the royal wedding had a dress code which required the women to wear hats.

For that Jaitly had a counter-argument ready: “In the royal wedding, it was all about inclusiveness and welcoming others’ society, people, race and colour. The royal family and all these people went all out to emphasise the American-African identity of the bride and everyone was raving about the bride’s mother too because they were different. I felt sad when I think that why do we copy them and never quite get it right. We have so much to show and show off.”

On the dichotomy of a dress code, Jaitly pointed out: “When somebody in a village in India says ‘Sar dhako (cover your head)’, we don’t want that… When somebody says, ‘Don’t wear jeans in college’, we say ‘Who are you to tell us a dress code?’. But if Queen in England descends an invitation and say you got to wear a hat, which is not part of your culture, you will start saying there was a dress code. I don’t understand these various double standards.”