The article doesn't interest me as much as the picture does. The photo is a depiction of the Police Commissioner, Director General of Police, the Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary and the Home Secretary of the Government of West Bengal. All wearing saris.
The article doesn't explain the picture, but it seems clear that the saris are meant to emphasise the inaction of the administrators the article holds responsible. The masculinity, strength, power and abilities of the five men have been challenged by showing them in saris. The picture says "Depict the men as women, because after all, their inaction and inability to control the bandhs shows that they are women". Women are the ones who are incapable of handling a tough job and helping run a state or a city. They are the ones who should stay home in their saris and leave the real work to the men, so how are these men any different from women?
And to top it off, the caption below the picture reads "We apologise to women who may feel the elegant sari has been wasted on our administrators". Because, of course, the first thing that will enter a woman's mind after seeing the picture will be "Oh my god, how can they waste our precious saris on such useless men?? They are not worthy of wearing them!" Annoyance and indignation at the gender discrimination and the extreme sexist statement made by a state newspaper are unlikely to occur. Since, you know, our job is to wear the "elegant sari" and stay home while the men are taking care of the country.
This pictures brings up something I've always wondered about: why is that for men, being called a "girl" is such an insult? There is a guy in my college that a lot of us don't like. To make fun of him, many guys (and some girls also) say that he's "such a girl trapped in a guy's body". I don't understand why this is such an insult. Even if, for the sake of argument, I assume that having an interest in fashion and cooking, and shaking your hips and hair while dancing, and liking to shop, are "feminine", I still don't get why a guy being "feminine" is something to be ashamed of and made fun of.
So, while I mull over the inexplicable ways a guy's mind functions, I think I shall write to/email the Telegraph and ask that instead of apologising for wasting my "elegant sari" on people so unfit to wear them, they might apologise for practicing gender discrimination right on their front page.