Kashmiri men wearing Pheran
Kashmiri men in Pheran | Photo: Flickr

Every part of world enlivens its life with its own customs, values, norms, beliefs which we collectively call tradition. No doubt, technology and fashion engulfed the whole globe but tradition is a part of living culture and will continue for a long time. Same is the case with Pheran which gives us unique identity and has gained symbolic significance in itself.

In winters, Kangri and Pheran are vital for every Kashmiri as it not only keeps us warm but makes us look unique from the rest of the world. But unfortunately, in recent times, many attempts were made to put a ban on it.

There were reports, of bar on the use of Pheran, making rounds on social media as security personnel got attacked by Pheran-clad men. And from that very day, security personnel started frisking, multiple crackdowns and checking the belongings of masses. Even people were asked to lift their Pheran on shoulders in order to pave them easy way for checking and frisking.

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On witnessing this, I was reminded of the crackdown days when security forces barged into houses and assembled men in playgrounds, even made them parade. I, as a child, couldn’t decipher then what is this drill for? But, now the terns like frisking, stopping, action, clampdown are known to every child.

To be precise, the questions I want to ask here is that if its a cultural lineage to us, why is it being analysed as a threat? Surely, it’s difficult to sift who the attacker is and who isn’t? But every Pheran-clad man is not an attacker. So, none should robe anyone of his/her cultural lineage.

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On the other hand, with the onset of hotter weather, people will obviously switch to Summer clothes. It would be all-in-vain to ban Pheran altogether. Instead, government must come up with a specific strategy which would preserve our cultural lineage in the midst of this emerging threat, because culture keeps a civilization alive.

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