An army invite asking journalists to refrain from wearing traditional Kashmiri dress, ‘Pheran’, to a press briefing has drawn flak from various sections of society.
Local journalists expressed strong opposition, with even chief minister Omar Abdullah forcing Army’s Srinagar-based media cell to withdraw the invite calling it a “clerical error”.
Writing on the micro-blogging site, Twitter, Omar said Pheran was part of “Kashmiri identity” and people wear it with pride.
“If the army has in fact told journalists not to wear a pheran to the events at Corps headquarter, that is unacceptable and the order should be withdrawn..... People wear pheran with pride. It’s part of our identity and also best way to stay warm in cold. Can’t ban pherans,” Abdullah wrote.
Army’s Srinagar-based PRO NN Joshi had asked journalists in a press invite to refrain from wearing Kashmiri-dress pheran for the press briefing by Corp Commander of Srinagar-based 15th Corps.
“You are all aware of the security requirements, however, it is reiterated that you may refrain from wearing pheran,” the army invite read.
The invite also asked journalists to go through an unprecedented extensive “security grill”.
After protests from journalists, the army later withdrew the invite calling it a “clerical error”.
“The press invitation issued earlier was erroneously sent due to clerical error and same is regretted. The previous press invite may please be treated as cancelled. There is no bar on dress code and it is as per your convenience,” the second press invite read.