People are posting photos of themselves wearing traditional attire to protest ‘pheran ban’ in Kashmir

TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images and Twitter

Kashmir men and women have taken to the internet to protest a decision by the school education department to ban the traditional Kashmiri attire ‘pheran’ in their zone offices.

Officials in the Indian-administered Kashmir reversed the decision after mass outcry on social media.

"All officials visiting the office are advised to visit in proper dress code during any official visit. It is recommended that no official will visit this office wearing pheran, traditional trousers and slipper/plastic shoes," a recent circular said.

In response to such a decision, which many thought was a form of cultural oppression, Kashmiri people protested by sharing images of themselves wearing the pheran. This is a long cloak worn by both men and women.

The ban was eventually reversed, but it shows a much bigger problem in the region. Kashmir is the site of much tension as it remains under the rule of Delhi following the collapse of the coalition government.

Abdul Rashid, the zonal education officer who ordered the ban, told the Indian Express it had been overturned.

"People used to walk into offices wearing pherans and... I had asked for that to be banned."

The chief education officer called me and asked me to revoke the order, so I have.


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