A fashion influencer and model, Simmy Goraya, who mostly uses YouTube and Instagram to “influence” youth seems to have gone a little tone-deaf in one of her recent videos in which she is seen encouraging her followers to go to a Pooja or wedding ceremonies wearing black.
The young social media personality starts off the video acknowledging that elders do say that one must not go to a “desi function” wearing black. In the next scene, she is seen wearing an all-black saree paired with a blouse with a plunging neckline. One look at the influencer and one could be excused for thinking that she is going to a funereal as a hired Rudaali. But no, the influencer states that she had picked this hideous outfit for a Puja. She progresses to show a few more all-black outfits for a shagun ceremony and a wedding function.
That one does not wear back to a Puja is widely known and acknowledged and one would expect that a Mumbai-based fashion influencer to know that. Her job demands that she knows what to wear where. But she takes the liberty to flaunt her disrespect for the Hindu traditions and beliefs and wear exactly what is prohibited. She also takes pride in the fact that she is breaking the tradition by doing what is prohibited.
What next? When an Instagram user highlighted that this was disrespectful and that Goraya could take the liberty of flouting religious norms only because she was targeting a Hindu ritual, instead of acknowledging her fault and tendering an apology, the adamant YouTuber stated that she was ‘joking’ and that there was no religious angle in this “meme”. She also accused the other person of ‘mixing religion’ into the matter.
Goraya is the one who made this “meme” on how to dress for a puja, and then she doubles down claiming there was no involvement of religion in her distorting the dress code for a puja. Puja is performed by Hindus to practice their Dharma; even the most brain-dead left-liberal cannot claim it to be a ‘religion-free’ exercise.
Simmy Goraya hails from the Sikh community. Why did she not show that she is going to a Gurdwara wearing black and without covering her head?
In a recent case, a bunch of radical Nihangs had chopped off limbs of a Sikh SC man who had bled to death, all because the deceased had allegedly insulted a Sikh holy book. How Islamists retaliate to any ‘disrespect’, more imagined/manufactured than real, to their religion is acknowledged worldwide. The beheading of Samuel Paty, to the genocidal attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh are recent but screaming instances of the same.
Kareena Kapoor Khan was sued by Christian bodies for naming her book of pregnancy as “The Pregnancy Bible.” This is why no YouTube or Instagram influencer tries to meddle with the religious beliefs and traditions of these communities, including those influencers who belong to those communities and so know their peculiarities and weak spots.
The apathy and leniency shown by Hindus has encouraged the likes of Munawar Faruqui, RJ Sayema and now YouTube Influencers to walk all over the traditions and belief system of Hindu Dharma.
It is also easy to target Hindu rituals because these “influencers” are aware that ignorant Hindu youth, devoid of self-knowledge and alienated from their roots, form the bulk of their viewers. No influencer can convince a Sikh or a Muslim or a Christian youth to go against their traditions.
Hindu parents of our times are raising weak children with no understanding, awareness or pride in their Dharma. It is easy to manipulate them and usher them away from their rituals and dharma.
However, we also appreciate that Simmy is not a habitual offender as the others listed above. She has not attempted such disregard towards dharma in any of her previous presentations. Things would have been better had she acknowledged that she made an honest mistake instead of trying to brazen it out.
We would like “influencers” to understand that their job is not to mislead youth who follow them as role models. The influencers must not encourage their followers to distort or deride age-old traditions that are considered sacred by Hindus, and they must realize that there is no bravado in encouraging the youth to disregard their parents or elders. Such misadventures will only relegate their stature to a “bad influence”, not an “influencer.”