While the controversy over an order banning rickshaw wallahs from wearing lungi in Baridhara moves from street protests to intervention by the courts, Anika Hossain penned a beautiful defense of the simple garment for The Daily Star:
Let me tell you something about the lungi. It was and continues to be the most comfortable, convenient attire ever to be invented. Slip it on, tie and knot and you’re good to go. In this hot weather, it provides plenty of ventilation and wearing one is like walking around with your own personal air conditioner. It can be worn as a part of wedding attire or it can be put to good use as sleepwear. Men have worn it to work and play on a daily basis for centuries not only in Bangladesh, but many other countries in the sub-continent as well. It represents the essence of our culture, which is pure, colourful, festive, free and full of life.
Now let me tell you what a lungi is not. First and foremost, it is not a hypocrite. It has no double standards. It does not claim to be superior to other outfits, nor does it discriminate between class, race, gender, religion or ethnicity. A lungi is not arrogant, judgmental, destructive or disloyal. All it asks, is for its wearers to show it the same courtesy.