External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s choice of attire when she met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday invited severe criticism on social media.
Twitter users posted scathing comments on her choice of dress - a pink sari with matching shawl that covered her from head to toe.
Some users compared Swaraj’s look with other women who have met Rouhani in the past. A combination picture tweeted by @padhalikha showing woman ministers of other countries meeting Rouhani went viral.
Another Twitter user @AAPkSaath posted picture of CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour interviewing Rouhani without a scarf.
Several women, including western journalists, have met Rouhani in normal clothes. In Iran https://t.co/u6YmbMC6h6— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) April 18, 2016
@SushmaSwaraj What are you wearing? Disgrace— You (@hemamaldini) April 17, 2016
Many questioned whether Swaraj was compelled to wear such a dress. “Mam i have never seen you covering head and self in such a fashion ever. What was compulsion?” @pbengani tweeted.
However others defended Swaraj saying these dress codes are inevitable during bilateral meets.
@Spexmp tweeted “There are some decorum maintain even in small offices its a bilateral relation lots of occasion they do.”
“Nothing wrong in respecting local culture. Many foreign leaders wear saree say Namaste” @smedia4 tweeted.
I think I am with Sushma Swaraj about her dress in Iran-— Be'Havin! (@WrongDoc) April 18, 2016
Respecting the practices of a country you are visiting is the right thing to do.
From a generic point of view Sushma Swaraj shouldn't have followed the dress code dijtat but does diplomacy work on generic views?— Krishanu (@itzKrishanu) April 18, 2016