PRIYANKA KOCHAR: A BOLLYWOOD FASHION DESIGNER AND WRITER CALLS FOR A PROGRESSIVE AND PROFESSIONAL WORK CULTURE IN INDIA
Priyanka Kochar, a fashion writer and a stylist from Mumbai staunchly bolsters that the Sir/Madam culture should be terminated. She has over seven years of fashion designing and writing experience. Her prominent assignments include Kajal Agarwal, Imran Khan, Yana Gupta, Esha Gupta, Neeti Mohan, etc. She has also worked for fashion weeks, music concerts, film promotions, etc.
Besides, she has been writing for Femina magazine’s fashion and style section. At present, she is focusing on writing “The Great Indian Wedding Book” and is also a part of the styling label “Moetador”. She feels contented that the Sir/Madam culture in the fashion industry and Indian film making industry exists in a minimal way and not as strict as the corporates.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from the prestigious National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Gandhinagar, India. Priyanka shares her experience at NIFT– a faculty encouraged all the students to use first name while addressing each other as well as their teachers. She recalls, “rather than addressing him as Ravi Sir, we would call him Ravi.”
However, exceptions are always there. There are few people who would get offended, if not addressed as Sir/Madam. People have the mindset that avoiding Sir/Madam will be concluded as not giving respect. Therefore, seniors might maintain a strategic distance from No Sir No Madam adherents. Sometimes, these conservatives may desire not to work with such open-minded juniors.
The idea behind conventional Sir/Madam attitude is that juniors have not achieved the position or level as compared with the senior. This is the reason seniors want juniors to address them as Sir/Madam. This happens because the former believes that the latter is not capable. Such outlook makes the workplace unprofessional.
Priyanka conceives that using such terms may create barriers within the team members, which will lead to discomfort while working. She believes that they should consider each other as companions instead of having unnecessary hierarchy. This would help them to work together as a team. The conversation within the team will become more amicable, simple, and comfortable.
In India, if we do not address government officials, including the police officer as Sir/Madam, we might end up with severe consequences. Abolishing this terminology would provide equal mutual respect and would significantly reduce corruption. Subsequently, there would not be any point of bribing someone to get our work done.
Priyanka believes that respect has to be earned and not demanded. A person’s profession does not decide whether he should be respected or not. Therefore, she considers that we should call cab drivers by their name. She indicates that eliminating the Sir/Madam culture can build up confidence within the cab drivers. In this way, the drivers feel dignified and entitled to provide the best service to their customers.
She specifies that education system is the root cause. Since childhood, at education institutions, we are taught to address our faculty as Sir/Madam. The most disappointing situation is that even the students in the final year want the freshers to address them as Sir/Madam. They get offended if this nomenclature is not followed.
Finally, Priyanka recommends that people should now start getting offended, if they are being addressed as Sir/Madam. This is the simplest approach to eradicate these phrases and have a fresh start. Reaching out to people and making them understand why Sir/Madam culture is an obstruction for a developing country. Therefore, by eliminating this Sir/Madam practice several issues can potentially be solved.