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Old 13th May 2016, 13:16   #91
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

Phew! needed more than 30 mins to go through all the responses. Its a personal choice to wear what we want, wherever it is... but I feel we must be respected and for that it is best to be suitably dressed to command that respect without asking for it. I shall not ask a govt. servant to show me the rule book, it is not going to serve the purpose.

So much arguments to and fro... nice to see them, my daughter works in amazon Chennai, she says there is no dress code in their office, guys and girls come in shorts and other not so formal dresses. It is their culture in that company, it is acceptable. But outside and especially in govt. offices it is always better to present ourselves properly.
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Old 13th May 2016, 14:06   #92
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

While some issues do seem trivial at face value - like the one being debated here - the underlying mindsets are anything but.

Most people including yours truly (lest someone calls me a hypocrite) choose not to protest far too often for the sake of convenience because 'I have better things to do with my time' or 'It doesn't really affect me because I have a hired flunkie to go there in my stead'.

Bribing someone's ego is probably worse than bribing his pocket - money runs out, egos get larger - and while a majority don't seem to care because 'I have better things to do', these minor adjustments add up and lead up to major headaches someday.

As a young boy, I used to wonder why citizens aren't bothered by the poor quality of service in public offices, but I've realized over a period of time it's US who are to blame the most, because we go to them with a 'Whatever it takes to get out fastest' attitude because 'I have better things to do'.

Now some would say 'Your problem if you want to protest' and I say fair enough, but they tend to forget there are others who don't want to make the same concessions and the circle completes itself. We'll all end up in a situation someday where we are the one wanting to protest but the people before us took the 'I have better things to do' way out. Picking one's fights wisely works, until it doesn't because others slinked away when one finally picked a fight worth their effort.

Much ado for nothing, I'd agree, but it works both ways. I faintly remember stuff they taught us in school that went 'I stood up for nobody because it didn't concern me, but when something eventually did, there was nobody to stand up for me', or something similar.

Pardon the rant, I'll wear my pants to the govt. office if/when the occasion comes, I have better things to do you see.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 13th May 2016 at 14:16.
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Old 13th May 2016, 14:27   #93
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

Laughable as it may be for some "practical" Indians, it was the "idealists" who challenged the status quo who brought about the change which the current "practical" people across the world enjoy.

Few cases in point
1. Abolition of sati - One man decided to question the obnoxious practice, and the result is here for us to see
2. Widow Remarriage in India. What seems so common today, some had to fight the deep rooted orthodoxy amidst humiliation and social boycott.
3. Standing up against the apartheid system in South Africa.
4. Standing up against racial discrimination against the blacks in the United States
5. Gay marriages made legal in many countries

All of the underlying issues had sanction of etiquette and culture at some point of time. Does not make them always right.

Last edited by TD_GHY : 13th May 2016 at 14:30.
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Old 13th May 2016, 14:31   #94
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

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Originally Posted by RogueRider View Post
I moved to Bangalore around 15 years ago with my family, I have had the same observation as you have stated, especially in the last 3-4 years. Like someone else pointed out it has to be the clash of cultures, We are scarily fond of regionalism, we are kannadiga's and tamilians first. We identify as Indians only when we leave the country. Even then we try to bond with people who speak the same language, hail from the same state ie, we look for things in common.
Slightly Off Topic to this thread but important all the same.
I moved here to BLR around 13 years back too.
I ve not had issues in general because I do like people and do get along quite well with anyone, be he an Auto Rickshaw Driver or the MD of a Company or a Security Guard at a Mall. Be fair, be respectful, be nice - use Please and Thank you for services to be rendered or already rendered and you can pretty much be sure that the respect will be reciprocated.

Saying this, as Indians, we are quite a parochial lot.
You're right when you say that in General we are Kannadigas, or Keralites or Tamilians or Haryanvis first and then only are we Indians.
Even abroad, you will mostly find little social clubs - Tamil Manram, Gujarati Sabha, Bengali Adda etc among the Indians. Whereas on account of a shared identity and common ethnicity, you will find others of different nationalities gathering together under their National identity - English Club, Irish Club, American Club etc.

Coming back to this particular thread and the rants therein.

I agree that the Change we desire must happen within us first.
Sadly, in most of our cases, we are just too pressured with all the other stuff of life, to even bother to "waste time" fighting the Corrupt Systems, Processes of Indian bureaucracy and having disagreements with Babus. In general, one never wins these fights without the expenditure of a huge amount of time, energy and effort. And this time, energy and effort, in an already time starved situation, can be more effectively and pleasurably deployed elsewhere.

Thats why I keep saying "Pick your battles".
To me having a battle with the Bureaucracy and Babudom, in a hopelessly corrupt, skewed system is simply not worth it.
Call me an elitist. Call me whatever you want.

I want my peace of mind, in my working space and my personal space. If this means I am living in a parallel "elite" universe, then so be it. I pay my taxes honestly but yet, I get Zilch in return. My parents lived their working lives and paid their Taxes religiously, but have Zilch in return. So we choose all of us, to live in a parallel universe which is accessible to us because of our backgrounds, friends, social levels and to some extent, financial ability. Nothing else. I see no reason to suffer pain, if I am near the top of the heap in terms of the position in the "food chain". Life is too short to be spent on useless pursuits like fighting the corrupt system and evil Babus.

I do not have any of these kinds of issues when Im outside of India - simply because the system works like it is supposed to and you get what you pay for - at least in the "Developed/ Civilised" world. India, sadly is neither developed fully or for the most part, even civilised.

Compare the Social Security Office in most US towns with the Ration Shops in India (if ever you go to one). Compare the Driving License Authority Offices with the RTO's here. Perhaps these are not fair because we are poor and they are better off, but at least, one can get the service one pays for, on time and in full.
Here, by contrast, one has to run from pillar to post, beg, pay bribes and generally kowtow in order to get anything done.

The Income Tax Dept here is amongst the most corrupt possible. Before the online processing of returns and refunds began in full earnest, one would never get ones returns on time and refunds were to be forgotten until you greased some scumbag's palm.

Frankly if ever I had to go to the Income Tax Department, there is absolutely no way, in India that I would attempt to go there in "Shorts"!

Compare also then, the process of School Admissions and Admission Forms, Exam results and the like - even at these slightly fancier schools. One will see a Looooong line of poor harassed parents just waiting their turn to get that precious form and then stand in another loooooong line to submit it. I mean, this is absolutely ridiculous, considering this is a Private Service and one is paying BIG BUCKS these days for education of ones off spring! (I don't have kids, but I can empathise with my friends who do!)

Like it or not, these facts stated above, are eminently palpable to most of us every day, as we traverse the roads and work through what pass for public places...

The Rot has now gone SO SO IRRETRIEVABLY DEEP that I really wonder whether we can ever remove this gangrene and be a clean place again, like we were immediately post Independence and right up to the 1980's...

We can be idealistic and want to change things - but wearing shorts and T Shirt is not going to accomplish that change. Nor is a confrontationist attitude.

The change has to come only from deep within and at the grass roots level, through education and example. Nothing else will work. And it is my guesstimate that change, if it does happen, will take another 3-4 generations to even be visible....
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Old 13th May 2016, 14:52   #95
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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
.......

The change has to come only from deep within and at the grass roots level, through education and example. Nothing else will work. And it is my guesstimate that change, if it does happen, will take another 3-4 generations to even be visible....
I understand and can empathize as I'm not really much different. Most of us are in the same boat and as practical (cynical?) as the next guy because there's too much to do and too little time to do it in, so 'I, Me & Mine' takes precedence over everything else, and understandably so.

That being said, not doing anything because we'll never see the benefits of it ourselves, is a big part of our problem. We all want things to change, but since the effects won't be visible for several generations owing to how deep the rot has set in, we're all handing off the burden of effort to another generation. Our parents inherited it from theirs, and we'll pass it on to the next. How will we see change if nobody ever really starts it at all?

Not exactly a call to revolution but something to ponder in a rare moment we get from the daily grind.
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Old 13th May 2016, 14:58   #96
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

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Originally Posted by Karthik Chandra View Post
We visit government offices for official work.

Official work = formal wear

Getting driving license is an official work.
It is an official work where they are the officers and not us.
They are here to serve us "the public".
We don't go there for cultural or dressing lessons.

Quote:

There are pubs and bars which do not allow

# people wearing slippers
# stag entry
# people wearing shorts
The places which you have mentioned above are private and they can reserve right for admission.

Dressing up the way I like without rationally offending anyone is my right.

This is my humble opinion and no offence meant to anyone.
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Old 13th May 2016, 15:09   #97
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

A little late to the thread I guess. Nevertheless, I'd like to add my views on this highly debatable topic. An RTO office, like many other government offices and streets/malls/hospitals, is a public place without any prerequisite with respect to dress code. So ethically/obligatorily, one is in all respects allowed to wear whatever one wishes to, be it shorts/pants or for that matter, a tuxedo. I for one certainly believe that it's not 'disrespectful' to wear shorts in front of a government official in an informal/formal situation, unless asked to adhere to a certain dress code, such as in a visa interview.

Also, I'd beg to defer with the viewpoint of many members on this thread regarding required dress codes and common sense. When it comes to a certain dress code such as in a club, one is expected to follow the rules and notions of the place. For instance, at my college in the states, we wear shorts to class everyday but when it comes to certain 'elitist' clubs, we're expected to dress in a formal attire which is highly understandable and indubitably mentioned in the rules. As the OP pointed out, it was certainly not a wrong gesture to ask for the exact stated rule. As for wearing pants to a government office is 'common sense' or not, I'd say it truly isn't. Take for example a certain 18yr old, applying for his driving license in India who's been living in the U.S. for over 8 years. I'm pretty sure he/she won't be aware of this underlying presumptuous 'common sense' of not wearing shorts to government offices. What happens in that case? You'd still blame that person?

Yes, it's certainly a debatable topic and even if I were in their place, I'd obviously dress 'appropriately' as per the society's given 'standards' to avoid conflict/delay. But just rationally speaking, the OP's friend truly wasn't at fault.

Best,
Mohak Sharma

Last edited by mohaks19 : 13th May 2016 at 15:13.
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Old 13th May 2016, 15:40   #98
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

I thought crossed my mind while I went through few of the posts:

How many of us would walk into a Job interview wearing shorts? How many would consider it to be okay to do that?
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Old 13th May 2016, 16:16   #99
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

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How many of us would walk into a Job interview wearing shorts? How many would consider it to be okay to do that?
Not specifically 'shorts' but quite a few well established firms like Google, Quora as well as tech start ups are fine with casual wear like tee shirt and jeans for interviews. I'm sure they wouldn't mind shorts too, given the right candidate.

The person at Microsoft who interviewed me for internship was wearing shorts himself, while I was in formals

To quote a email from Google to its candidates before the interview date

Quote:
Feel free to leave your suit at home - we're business casual here at Google.
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Old 13th May 2016, 16:24   #100
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

Well, obviously the RTO should not have rejected an applicant just cause of his attire. What they did is wrong, but still, who goes to the RTO to give a driving test wearing shorts and slippers. Every place, demands some decency and decorum.
Coming from the IT field, these days almost all IT companies have done away with dress codes. My organisation doesn't have any ruling whatsoever with respect to the employee's attire. Doesn't mean that we'll wear shorts and slippers and turn up at office, sure we have the freedom, but wouldn't be morally right on our part to wear as we wish, why's that? Cause the place demands a certain respect and dignity of dressing.

Another scenario, when we go to a function, marriage, house warming etc. In very few cases are we required to adhere to dress code, but we still try to look our best and wear the fanciest of clothes, specially to weddings. Why? cause again, the occasion and the event demands it. How would the hosts feel if we turn up with shorts and slippers at a wedding.

Let's put ourselves in the RTO officers place, people from the IT field would relate to this example. Lets say you're having a client visit at your office. Obviously you'll wear your best formals and will try to look your best. Now just imagine the client visiting your office premises in shorts and slippers. How would you feel? Wouldn't you feel hurt that this guy is not treating our workplace with respect. Guess this is how the RTO officer would have felt.

The RTO is a place where he had gone to give a test, maybe even an interview perhaps. And I'm dead sure, the same person would never ever dare to turn up for a job interview or a test in shorts and slippers.Again, The place and event demands some decency of dressing.

Yes, you very much have the complete independence to wear what you like at your office, at functions, at government offices, for interviews etc. But that shouldn't be at the cost of some basic respect and seriousness that the place or the occasion commands.
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Old 13th May 2016, 16:48   #101
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

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Originally Posted by greatgyan View Post
Let's put ourselves in the RTO officers place, people from the IT field would relate to this example. Lets say you're having a client visit at your office. Obviously you'll wear your best formals and will try to look your best. Now just imagine the client visiting your office premises in shorts and slippers. How would you feel? Wouldn't you feel hurt that this guy is not treating our workplace with respect. Guess this is how the RTO officer would have felt.
Good example!
I once had a client from China visiting my office on a summer - He came in shorts to office, and as the day progressed he simply took off his shirts while sitting at the desk.
I have been to his China office before - so I knew everyone in his office wear shorts, and also remove shirts too if they feel too hot (Yes, they do!). So, he doing the same thing here in India, just reminded his office to me, that's all. However, others who had not seen his office & the general attire felt, what this guy was doing!
Imagine what sort of attention & criticism would be drawn towards him, if an Indian does that very same thing! Why?
We would not mind ignorance from foreign nationals, but why would anyone accept attitude from foreign-return Indians trying to teach that "This is not how it is done in the US/UK/Gulf etc" ? I take the foreign-return Indians here, because that is where we are coming at mostly - our discussion so far mainly has been speaking about those who has seen a different culture and found our behaviours not internationally at par, trying to do it the way they did it in the countries they went.
I seriously believe the argument on convenience is not really true, the underlying reason is different. Nobody puts convenience first when they want to get something important done from a higher authority. BHPians have quoted several such examples - Visa interviews, Job interviews etc.

Please note however that, we are just debating a topic, and if there is anything that looks personal, that is completely unintentional, please accept my apologies
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Old 13th May 2016, 17:22   #102
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

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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 ?

This is not the first time I've heard of such a thing happening. This happened to a close friend. He was ordered to go home and change into pants.



Source: http://www.bangaloremirror.com/banga...w/52195898.cms

I've personally seen people wearing flip-flops or Hawai chappal during the driving test. That is more dangerous.

Why you shouldn't wear flip flops: http://www.metronews.ca/drive/2013/0...lip-flops.html
Well, in India dress codes apply in an implied manner and all citizens are expected to follow it. One need not write them in the books of law to make it implementable. Wearing formal attire while visiting a government office is one of them and not abiding by it may appear insulting for an officer on duty. In fact following dress codes is a way of expressing respect to the place you are into.

What would be your reaction if a lady representing your Clients office attends an official meeting in her nighties or your boss coming to the office wearing striped pajamas and banyan? It should be acceptable as long as they are clothed, since it is not forbidden in any book of law. Yet, such conduct appears amusing as it gives a sense of disrespect to the environment one is into. In fact many offices impose dress codes while an employee or a visitor is within its premises.

Although The RTO does not specifically mention regarding wearing shorts, but still common sense and sense of respect to others shall prevail and your friend is expected to abide by the standard practices. I would personally thank the officer for sending your friend back home insisting upon for a serious code of conduct.

Last edited by King_pin09 : 13th May 2016 at 17:24.
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Old 13th May 2016, 17:48   #103
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

My experience on dress code,
While driving my VW van on highway, I had to across a small town & tackle morning rush hour.
Usually, I donít allow a biker to squeeze through if itís very narrow passage. I hate scratches on my car.
This upset one of biker who was behind me & started waving, saying something.
I didnít care much just stuck to my lane. After a km or so he managed to over take. Now he was next to me(driver side) & starred at me for a second. I slowed down to see his next reaction, A second later he just took off(mind you no Helmet).
I was with a formal full sleeve Shirt, Ray-ban goggles & seat belt on.
He thought, I was some kind of official got scared & just left.

Some times your appearance matters. Whether you like it or not, it works.
In your own life cycle, it would have worked, recall.
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Old 13th May 2016, 17:50   #104
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

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Originally Posted by King_pin09 View Post
Well, in India dress codes apply in an implied manner and all citizens are expected to follow it. One need not write them in the books of law to make it implementable. Wearing formal attire while visiting a government office is one of them and not abiding by it may appear insulting for an officer on duty. In fact following dress codes is a way of expressing respect to the place you are into.
Very well put! If you are visiting an RTO office (or any office for that matter) for an important job such as getting a driving license, I believe there is a certain level of respect and formality the process deserves. You cannot go for an important work like you go for a haircut. Since schooling days, we were made to wear formals and that is for a reason, isn't it? It is okay if he didn't want to wear formals but at least he could have worn jeans trousers and a casual shirt?

What next? Wear torn clothes? Or go to offices in bikinis?

The only bad thing that happened to him was he had to wait there for an hour before being sent back. They shouldn't have wasted his time.
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Old 13th May 2016, 17:52   #105
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Default Re: Wearing shorts to the RTO? You can't get a licence

Although I agree there is an inherent bias that Indians have towards people who are dressed "casually" i.e., in shorts and tees. Some conservative people do have the mindset.

But, let us not forget the RTO is an office. In corporate offices, there are written rules on dress codes for employees. But this is an RTO, where the general public come to avail services. Here, we cannot expect a written rule on dress code. There is a little bit of a cultural aspect involved with a lot of common sense.

PS - we don't go to interviews in shorts do we? Because we treat it with priority and do what is expected. I think there's nothing wrong in making at least half the effort here - not like going to an interview, but at least wearing full pants and a shirt.
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