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Old 11th May 2016, 18:39   #16
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

To be honest, this is an example of "when in Rome, do as the Romans do".
Public offices in India are seen as places for 'serious matters' and that's the reason why people working there expect customers to be dressed formally. Although you can argue that they have no right to have an opinion about what you wear, I think they're just doing this to enforce a perception of professionalism.
I know of many private companies where you're not allowed to participate in a meeting if you enter the room wearing a T-Shirt-even a Polo is not allowed. I doubt if the company HR policy would have something about the way you should dress in order to attend a meeting, but still they enforce an unwritten rule. What's wrong if the RTO officers expect people coming to their offices to dress a bit more professionally? It's an office and it feels nice to be around people who are well dressed.
This may seem OT-but conservative organizations have a certain sensitivity towards the dress code, which should be respected unless it is inconvenient.
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Old 11th May 2016, 18:48   #17
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

Sure there are laws, rules etc. But the world still largely works on conventions.

If you want to do something beyond convention, it should be at the behest of legalities as well as a popular social cause backed by a decent amount of narrative.

Your friend had only one if them (i.e. legality), hence, I don't feel there's anything devastatingly wrong in the RTO's action.

Conventionally one does not do certain things in that way, unless it's an emergency.

If your friend was dealing with any private corporate, I guess it'd be sufficiently within its rights to refuse to avail you of their product/service based on their own preference.

Anyway, I may not be 100% right, but atleast I'm not hell bent on trying to redicule my country based on certain conventional practice.

If I want change based on constitutional rights, I'd try to socially build a narrative about it & do it in a constructive manner than become a person who cried foul & ran to the teachers(judges, or nowadays 'media') for every small thing.

Let's adjust a little to enjoy the freedom we have, rather than to bicker over small freedoms that we don't. Let's choose our battles.

Regards,
Bhavin

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 11th May 2016 at 19:03.
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Old 11th May 2016, 18:49   #18
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

I am not sure why we need to be in shorts when going for any official purpose? I might be old-styled, but I expect people to wear a set of pants or a clean dhothi, not talking about a formal set of suit when going on any official work. I am sure we would claim that many do attend interviews, in shorts or round neck t-shirt, but how many of us would go for a Visa interview in the same shorts and round necked t-shirt? Many pvt organisation in India and abroad are very strict on what the employees are allowed to wear.

Last edited by raghu.t.k : 11th May 2016 at 18:54.
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Old 11th May 2016, 18:54   #19
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

When in Rome do as the Romans do.
Simple.

What do you want to achieve at the RTO or other Government Office - say the Passport office for example?

You want to get your work done quickly and efficiently and with minimum fuss or time waste right?

If yes, then why on earth should anyone act like a Don Quixote tilting at windmills for something that doesn't even matter in the larger scheme of things - what I am saying is, that the service seeker needs to simply prioritise whats more important and do accordingly.

Is wearing shorts and proving a point more important than getting the Drivers license or passport?

Is wearing a pair of trousers and a shirt going to help you achieve your ends more efficiently and with less time wastage? If so, then why not just dress as per the need of the occasion?

I think the answer is self explanatory.

After all, we are not in Silicon Valley. Nor are we in some startup company founded by some Silicon Valley returnee.

We are in a normal Indian city and in a Government office and in this case, we are dealing with folks who are not as exposed or aware as perhaps others are!

Ask yourself honestly, if you were going for your DL in the US or in Europe, would you go in your shorts and sandals and round neck T Shirt? Most probably not. Most of us who go for such a service or who have already been for such a service, tend to dress with a modicum of formality or in Smart Casuals at least.

So why should it be any different here?
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Old 11th May 2016, 18:58   #20
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

India more than any other Country requires coolest of the clothes due to the prevalent weather conditions but on the contrary Indians take pleasure in covering them up from head to toe & till the extremities. Head gear is another thing indians love, then comes their local attires; Kurta Payjama, Dhoti, Lungi, etx. Saris not withstanding. Things are so that whenever I spot a neta in Kurta-Payjama, just one thought crosses my mind, chor! Its pretty much like the other 3rd World countries Afganistan, Pakistan, etc. fully clad with blocked mindsets, rigid views & what we do is only right sort of attitudes.

I don't know why they need to follow what the British taught them here also! I think it never occurred to them or the they don't want to break away from the mould. Schools, offices, etc should allow shorts & tees as normal dress code. Why make people sweat it out just for some ill-founded beliefs & customs.
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Old 11th May 2016, 19:06   #21
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

Kurta Pajama or Dhoti and Kurta or similar, are perfectly acceptable modes of dress. They are cool and look cool too.

Yes, the concept of Jacket and Tie is a bit archaic and dated and does not make too much sense in a hot country like ours.

However, this has become Internationally accepted "Business Attire" so even if you don't really believe in it, you have to "conform" to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb.

Which is exactly the point of the earlier comment and post - When in Rome do as the Romans do!

Cant be that hard now, can it?
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Old 11th May 2016, 19:11   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
Dear All,
I want to share this report which is absurd. How can an RTO deny license to a man wearing shorts ?
What a timely post, can't believe the coincidence!

I went last week to the Thiruvanmiyur RTO in Chennai for learner's license application. I was dressed in 3/4th cargos and a t-shirt given that it was 40 deg plus. Well, didn't think about it, just went to the RTO.

I was harangued to no end by my agent, given a once over and subjected to questions about where I am from, language etc by the inspector. The agent was the far more stressed out using an ill abused word in the Indian context, Respect or Maryadhai in Tamil. Few things get my goat as this one. Turned on the charm offensive with the inspector and my application made it through. He was mollified when I said I was from Mumbai, like that explained it all. Fact that I could speak some Tamil, if you could call my proficiency that, made it easier.

But the experience set me thinking. Something new for me. I refuse to categorise them as traditional, which to me is a positive trait. Lack of exposure, or inability to question the status quo brought about by an education system that demands conformism?

Context: why learner's license after driving for 20 years? just noticed that my duplicate license "booklet" from Mumbai had expired in 2012 itself and anyway didn't have a mention of 2 wheeler by mistake. Interesting that all the cops who pulled me over in the interim never caught on to it
Lol
Made more sense to apply afresh from Chennai. Went through agent to obtain notarized affidavit to compensate for any other address proof.
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Old 11th May 2016, 19:11   #23
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
I can't imagine I read that, unless you were being sarcastic.
If not, I don't really know what to say.
Let me clarify my point - I am not at all saying the gentleman did something wrong by walking into the RTO with shorts.
In Southern parts of India, you can wear Dhoti everywhere and command respect, but lungi (usually checked & coloured variants of Dhotis) is not socially accepted and will be frowned upon if worn in public places.
Shorts get similar kind of treatment - like lungis.
Shorts / Lungis are frowned upon in public places - because they are considered informal here.
Yes, you can wear Shorts everywhere in the US. My friends just carry a few pairs of Shorts when going on 10 day road trips during summer there. Completely fine, because it is an accepted way of clothing there.
These are simply cultural differences.
Dress code has been a hot debate in our country, almost forever - Our women sweat under the hot sun in several layers of clothes in the name of culture. (Even foreign countries do have dress code, and not about convenience alone - Try wearing the shorts that are above knees in Western countries for men)
Discussing / Debating / Protesting will take forever, but in the end only frustration results. I would rather skip these by just following local norms so I get more time for many other things that I consider more important.
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Old 11th May 2016, 19:17   #24
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

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Originally Posted by hybridpetrol View Post
Let me clarify my point...
I understand but what's needed is that it should not be a matter of convenience. Do you really think this RTO guy would've done the same thing if it was bigshot? Absolutely not, so just because you are a common man doesn't mean that you have to take it lying down always.

If you talk about following a specific culture then what really is the culture of most of the Tier-1 cities in India? There isn't 'one' culture to be seen.

At times locals want to take the higher moral ground by saying that they follow culture and all the other people coming into their city or the newer generation is ruining that culture. What they fail to understand is that there's this whole new culture now, just because it isn't the one they were brought up in doesn't mean its wrong.

People make culture, not the other way round.
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Old 11th May 2016, 19:45   #25
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

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Originally Posted by pratyush6 View Post
I don't understand why the hell would you walk into a office wearing shorts? I mean come on! That is not your lounge and this is basic common sense. It is disrespectful to authorities.
And on top of it to have the gumption to ask to show where is the rule? I mean, the person is literally begging for being chided.

P.S. I don't think there might be a rule, as this is really basic common sense.
Are you serious? This is absurd.
People today are way too materialistic to look beyond somebody's clothing or appearance it seems. Its a free world
This isn't a workplace or school with some dress code. The people at RTO get paid through taxes which we pay and it's their job to serve anyone, even if some dude walks in wearing bikini or shorts.
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Old 11th May 2016, 19:47   #26
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

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Originally Posted by Zappo View Post
Ok, let me stick my neck out and say something which will probably get a few of the Bangalore members riled up. However, after having seen how the things are slowly becoming across KA and Bangalore in specific I am pretty certain that Bangalore specifically is very steadily becoming hostile and intolerant. Your view, my view, my city, your city you name it... Rioting, attacks on people, general hostility and an overall sense of strong-arm tactics being employed by anyone who has some power in some field is very common of late. Everyone is on a short fuse and everyone wants to prove a point out there!
Naaahh... it is not that at all.

It is nothing but culture shock. Government departments have very different culture than IT companies. It is so different, culture shocks are common. Especially in Bangalore, which has huge IT population which is not aware of the government culture.

In government offices, formality and hierarchy are very important. It really upsets them to see it broken brazenly by anybody in their turf.

For example, my uncle and his cousin regularly attend civil courts on account of multiple property suits that are running since the 90s. One is a retired PWD official and the other is a retired GM of a public sector bank. These are people who are aware of the government office culture, they have lived it. My uncle often tells me about their day in the court, and I feel like he is describing scenes from the court of a king. They are made to sit in benches (without backrest) for hours, and it is hard for them at their age. If they try to stretch or lean back to relax the muscles, they are instantly snubbed by the judge or the lawyer, telling them to sit respectfully. When the judge arrives or leaves, they have to get up and say namaste with all reverence. Folks in IT industry can't comprehend such feudal behavior.

This is why I never visit any government office for official business unless I have no choice. I always send my accountant on such errands, and he is used to showing "proper respect". I'll probably blow my fuse within 10 minutes. Even when they visit my company, it is the same story. They expect proper respect and none of the IT industry casualness is appreciated.
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Old 11th May 2016, 19:58   #27
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

I may be a minority here but here is my personal opinion about the same.

Wearing shorts may look cool but there is something called dressing for the occasion and location. Going to RTO or any office as such is not like going to grocery shop, heck even why would company have set the rules about business casual dress code. It is mainly because you need to respect the work place and to the matter of fact I work for an organization which is very liberal when it comes to dress code and till now I haven`t a single person who had taken advantage of this liberty. So if one can follow it in his work place then why can`t he do it when he is visiting a government organization on official business.

Last edited by DragonHawk : 11th May 2016 at 20:04. Reason: Corrected typo.... :)
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Old 11th May 2016, 20:08   #28
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

Shorts (nighties for women) => Home attire (night dress)
Dhoti (saree, salwar for women), pants => Public attire

This is the current perception. It is not written anywhere. I feel that is the general belief. I have seen many rural folks while working in fields are in shorts but when they are done, they tie a dhoti or wear a pant. Probably that is what the RTO officials expected.
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Old 11th May 2016, 20:19   #29
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
Kurta Pajama or Dhoti and Kurta or similar, are perfectly acceptable modes of dress.
Which is exactly the point of the earlier comment and post - When in Rome do as the Romans do!
Cant be that hard now, can it?
Agreed the above mentioned traditional dresses might be cool to wear but if you go a step further reading the mindsets of people who wear them all the time, it shouts semi-educated, rural, rigid mindset, backward at times, its like living in stone age or a place where time is frozen. Joining this with the topic, when such archaic dresses are ok to wear, why not shorts, tees & sandals! Our weather demand these to be worn mostly.

The tag "when in Rome" is ok when used at Rome, not elsewhere! Specially when it comes to the babu class of India or them not entertaining people dressed in anything short of formals. They have to reminded that they are "public servants" live on the salaries that are paid by the people, so the least they can do is respect their real masters turning up for work. So in reality its the babus who need a lesson on "while in Rome", interpret it like this "these are your masters & you are here to do their work irrespective of what your masters are wearing(acceptable clothing)". Now people past their prime may toe the babus line 99% of the time but the new generation, the ones in sync with times, ones who are aware, know their rights, ones who want to see a change in the country, ones who want to be the change, the rebels, they will never take this lying down. They will take the fight right to the doorsteps & win. So when you think you are right, never back down, fight for your right. Then & only then things will change.
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Old 11th May 2016, 20:37   #30
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Default re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

I work at a Public Sector Bank and here you can't address your seniors as Hi Mr XX! It has to be at all times SIR only. The point is how the dealing official's mindset is. Even in my bank lot of IT professionals visit my bank branch during the weekends for their regular transactions (read first, third and fifth Saturday) and they are completely in their casual avatars. I don't mind and neither my bosses does.
It will take lot of time for all of us to realize the open culture aspirations of our country. The divide between INDIA and BHARAT is causing all this unwarranted issues. The other day one of my cousin working in Chennai told me, that one of his co-workers had commented that North Indians have spoiled the culture of South. This is the weirdest of comments ever heard by me in my 12 years of stay in Chennai.
I encourage you to wear whatever attire which fits you best and wherein you feel comfortable and the same should be decent and not obscene.

Last edited by MDED : 11th May 2016 at 20:37. Reason: Sentence formation
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