Mizo Church’s dress code strict on women *Goa plans advisory body on Muslim, Christian issue

April 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Church, Goa, India, Mizoram, newsletter-india

Mizoram, April 10, 2012: It follows complaints that church aisles have become like red carpets for fashion shows.

The Presbyterian Church, Mizoram’s largest Christian denomination, wants women to refrain from wearing trousers and see-through dresses inside places of worship.

The Church’s second-highest decision-making authority, the Synod Executive Committee, yesterday issued a dress code that insists women should not wear clothes that expose breasts or show too much skin. It also wants women to avoid tight garments inside the church.

The best option for women is to wear the traditional “puan,” a piece of cloth women wrap around waists reaching to the ankles, that the Church terms as a “respectable” dress.

The Church code encourages women to use cosmetics, but with moderation, and urges brides to wear beautiful and respectable wedding dresses.

It also wants men to wear clean shoes and respectable suits inside churches.

The code comes in the backdrop of a long drawn debate over proper church wear in Mizoram, a Christian majority state in northeastern India. Some church-goers have complained that church aisles have become like red carpets for fashion shows.

Mizoram’s patriarchal society has always discouraged “indecent” dresses and some people have blamed “indecent dressing” by women for the recent increase in rape cases in the state.

Earlier, under pressure from student bodies, the state education department issued a dress code that asked girls not to wear skirts that reach only above knees.

The Young Mizo Association has disapproved girls wearing tights at funeral services.

State Culture Minister P. C. Zoramsangliana has appealed colleges to fix a day in a week for students to wear the “puan.”

In 1987, former Chief Minister Laldenga told government employees that although law-enforcement officials would not tolerate “indecent exposure” as described in the Indian Penal Code, no one should impose a dress code for women.

– timesofindia / hindustantimes

Goa plans advisory body on Muslim, Christian issue


Goa, April 02, 2012: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government in Goa is planning to set up a minority advisory council, which will sift through the demands of Muslims and Christians, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said here on Monday.

According to him, the council would be set up by May.

“We should be in a position to set up an advisory council in May. It will have members of the Catholic and Muslim communities,” Parrikar said on Monday.

“The council will meet twice a month with the government, and advice on matters related to minority communities,” Parrikar said.

The simple majority to the BJP in the 40-member Goa legislative assembly in the April elections have been credited to a social engineering exercise by the chief minister, who wooed the state’s 26 percent Christian minority ahead of the March polls.

The BJP, which contested 28 seats, had fielded six Christian candidates and backed two other Christian independent candidates. The party has already allotted two cabinet berths to the Catholics, and has also promised to induct an independent minority legislator in the first round of expansion.

The BJP now aims to focus its attention on the nearly seven percent strong Muslim population, who have traditionally kept the saffron party at an arm’s length.

In an emotional pitch to Muslim community members at a public function in Panaji last week, Parrikar said the community could “kick” the BJP out of power after five years if he did not deliver good governance, adequate jobs and “respect” to them.

“In five years I assure you not just a good government and representative jobs, most importantly, I assure you that the government will accord the community a sense of respect. If the BJP does a good job, vote for us, if we don’t, kick us out,” Parrikar said.

– ians

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