Authorities in Lucknow, the capital of India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, have asked visitors to the city’s iconic Imambara monuments to only show up wearing “decent and appropriate clothes”.
“Entering the premises of Bara Imambara with vulgar dresses is disallowed. Only people with decent clothes will be allowed inside the premises of the monuments," the guidelines issued by the Lucknow Administration read.
The directive has evoked strong reactions, driving some to air their grievances on social media.
Lucknow: Following a guideline by DM Kaushal Raj Sharma, visitors at Bara Imambara are now being asked to come in 'decent clothes',those in 'indecent clothes' are being stopped at gates. Guard says "We've put up a board. Those dressed indecently are being stopped&made to go back" pic.twitter.com/rTCp8IGx3f— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) July 1, 2019
The move comes after a delegation of local Shia Muslim clerics had recently written to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to express their concerns about ''indecently dressed'' women visiting the Imambaras and asked for a dress code to be adopted.
Some netizens objected to the directive, decrying it as ‘moral policing’, especially with respect to the way women choose to dress.
— Shailaja (@shailajavellank) July 1, 2019
— Dr.Ashutosh Verma (@DrVermaAshutosh) July 2, 2019
— Invincible Spirit (@aprajitakaushal) July 1, 2019
— अनुराग (@UPwalaTweeter) July 1, 2019
However, some appreciated the directive, which they believe honours the historical sanctity of the place.
— Smita🇮🇳 (@DikshitSmita) June 30, 2019
Fully agree, citizens have to learn to respect religious space, if skimpy clothes bring you empowerment kindly head off to a beach. Being rational rather than liberal is the need of the hour.
— Gaurav Singh Manhas (@gaurav615) June 30, 2019
It's good. If it is brought into compliance all over India then there will be a significant drop in the eve teasing & more serious cases against females.Every female can't be a martial https://t.co/8kkIpP1CcR movies too proper dress up should be made compulsory by the censor board
— Gaurav Chaturvedi (@Gaurav0801) July 1, 2019
Arguments over women's attire is not new to the historic Islamic monuments of Uttar Pradesh. In an earlier reported incident, a group of women from a Shia community had distributed hijabs to women arriving as tourists to cover their heads while entering the Imambara building.
The state of Uttar Pradesh is home to numerous historic monuments, including the Taj Mahal, that are visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists from within the country and different parts of the world annually.