A government memorandum advising bureaucrats to avoid "casual attires" such as denim wears while being on official duty triggered criticism from opposition parties, who termed it as 'feudal'.
The memorandum issued by Principal Secretary for Revenue, Education and Information and Cultural Affairs Sushil Kumar advised officials to give due regard to dress code in state level official meetings.
"District Magistrates, ADMs being the district head need to ensure that in/at the state level official meeting which are chaired by the Hon'ble Chief Minister, Dy. CM, Ministers, Chief Secretary etc. or other high level official meetings due regards needs to be given to the dress code," the memorandum said.
It said, "Certain casual attires like jeans and cargo pants should be avoided."
In the memorandum, Mr Kumar said, he has three decades of experience in the Government of India service and he was yet to see an officer from the IAS or central services come to office wearing casual attires like denims.
The memorandum also pointed out that a few officials read and send messages on their mobile phones during meetings, which is a mark of disrespect.
Referring to former chief minister Manik Sarkar's advise to officers to keep hands off their pockets, Mr Kumar reiterated the issue and advised the district magistrates to ensure that officers maintain decorum and adhere to proper code of conduct while attending official functions or meetings.
Citing an example, the principal secretary said a Madhya Pradesh official had received the chief minister wearing goggles and he was later chastised.
When contacted, Tripura Pradesh Congress vice-president Tapas Dey said this order is a perfect reflection of feudal mindset of the state's ruling BJP-IPFT government and encroachment on the rights of government servants.
"How can they give orders on what to wear and what to avoid in the name of dress codes? This is most condemnable. Ours is a democratic country and not the colonial British rule. This type of memorandum reminds us the colonial rule only," CPI(M) spokesperson Goutam Das said.
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