The latest edition of The Economist India has an article about jeans, and in this edition of the Economist India, we’ll take a look at why you should wear jeans, in the words of the title of the article.
The article, which has been updated a number of times since the original publication, is titled, ‘Why are you still wearing jeans?’
And the gist of the question is that you shouldn’t because jeans are a bad thing.
“Janes are a symbol of Indian class privilege and they are a form of economic apartheid.
The fact that we wear them in India means that we have been made invisible and invisible in the wider world,” says Gopi Khandelwal, editor of The India Economist, which publishes The India Outlook, a monthly newspaper that is published by the Institute of Global Studies.
“It is also the symbol of the colonial era, when the Indian state was the largest employer in the country and the largest consumer of goods and services.”
A common thread linking denim to caste, gender, caste inequality and oppression is that the “jacket” itself is a symbol.
“The jacket symbolises a privileged caste group.
The symbol also implies that the wearer is part of that privileged group, even if he/she is not aware of it,” says Khandellwal.
In the article, the author mentions how many times people have told her, “I’m not a Dalit or a Muslim.
I wear jeans.
What can I do?”
“We need to acknowledge the fact that, as a society, we are a patriarchal society, where we have created these hierarchies,” says Prakash Srivastava, a professor of social work and women’s studies at the Indian Institute of Management, Delhi.
“I think that we should take some responsibility for it.”
“In order to be a good human being, you have to be able to recognise the oppression that you have been placed in,” adds Srivartava.
If you can recognise that you are a part of a privileged class, says Kollap, you can stop wearing clothes that are associated with that class.
“You can be conscious of what you wear and stop wearing it,” she says.
This article was originally published on The India Times website.
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