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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Katrina Kaif

Model-turned-actress Katrina Kaif’s skirt length has become the point of contention among the khadims (caretakers) of the Ajmer’s famous Moinuddin Chisti’s dargah and has divided the purists from the liberals.
While purists have strongly criticised Katrina’s entry into dargah wearing a knee length skirt and has even termed it as “skimpy skirt”, liberals on the other side say that dargah never had a dress code and hence there was no question of any violation.
“Women should cover their head. This is what is followed. Row over actress’ skirt is completely unjustified”, said Sarwar Chishti, spokesperson, Khadim Association, Ajmer Dargah.
But purists led by Irfan Rizvi, a senior Khadim of the dargah, are in no mood of reconciliation.
"The actress came here wearing a very short and skimpy dress. It was like a frock that exposed her legs to a large degree. This is totally wrong and uncalled for," said Rizvi.
Row over Kaif’s dress has largely been blamed to television news channel that showed video footage where Kaif was seen wearing a peach coloured knee-length skirt and carrying a basket of rose flowers on her head while shooting a scene for her forthcoming film Namastey London inside the dargah.
This led to a debate over the dress code violation by the actress.
This is not the first time that purists and liberals are at loggerheads over the issue. Earlier this year a section of the kahdims called for banning the entry of women in the dargah to offer prayers. But a strong condemnation from different sections of the society led to its withdrawal.
Recently, a woman Sufi singer from Pakistan, Maria Balocha was interrupted midway and asked to stop singing at the shrine. The opposition was justified on grounds of tradition rather than religion.
The tussle between the liberals and purists among the dargah’s khadims was evident during the uplifting of the ban on women offering prayers. Then Khadim’s committee had imposed a sanction on the khadim who had proposed the ban and boycotted him.
Meanwhile, filmmaker Vipul Shah apologised for the episode and assured that he would delete the particular scene from his film.
“My intention was not to hurt any religious sentiments, I am not the kind of man who would go to any extent for a movie,” Vipul said.
He however, added that he had earlier informed the khadims of the dargah that Kaif, who is playing a NRI character in the film in search of her Indian root, would be wearing a skirt.