Sarees with PM's, soldiers' images attract legal notice to textile trader
A Delhi-based social worker has sent a legal notice to a textile trader of Surat who had printed sarees featuring photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the armed forces, following India’s air strikes in Pakistan. She said “depicting respectable persons on the legs of ladies” is derogatory and disrespectful, and has demanded that the trader deposit Rs 1 crore into the Army Welfare Fund.
“The textile trader should tender an unconditional apology and also deposit an amount of Rs 1 crore in the bank account…of the Army Welfare Fund within 15 days from the date of the receipt of the legal notice, failing which, legal actions, criminal and civil, will be taken,” the legal notice sent by Sheetal Verma, a social worker and national president of Bhartiya Mahila Party, said. The notice said the trader would also have to bear the expenses borne by Verma in sending the legal notice.
With the Lok Sabha election dates announced, national political parties had begun campaigning in various ways such as displaying political messages and photographs on their mobile phone covers. Here in Surat, the textile traders saw an opportunity and printed sarees and dress materials of political leaders such as Prime Minister Modi, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, and of soldiers, representing the air strike. The news of such sarees went viral on social media platforms and in the media.
Talking to The Indian Express, Verma’s lawyer Gaurav Gaur of Delhi said they had issued notice only to one trader as of now but it had come to their notice that others too had printed such sarees. “After getting names and address of other such textile traders of Surat involved in such act we will definitely send legal notices to them as well,” he said. “We will issue such legal notices to the designers too as we have got names and addresses.”
“These people (traders) don’t have respect for the post of prime minister and our soldiers, and it has been done for commercial gain,” Gaur said. “Even the images on the saree lies below the knee (portion of the drape) and reaches down to the foot portion. The soldiers of our country are our pride and my client’s sentiments were hurt.”
The legal notice states: “At a time when whole world is praising our soldiers…and the bold action of our Prime minister is being appreciated like anything, It cannot be appreciated that you the addressee (textile trader) is taking disadvantage of the situation for your commercial (gain) without even thinking about the sentiments of your fellow countrymen.”