The Naked Truth can be Distracting
While it is heartening that the Indian Army has expressed regret to the Patna High Court for making candidates write an examination in March stripped down to their underwear, their reasoning forbears some thought. Given the spate of incidents involving mass cheating in Bihar, the officials apparently decided that stripping was easier than searching each candidate for telltale crib sheets and forbidden electronic equipment. This cavalier method is patently unfeasible for female examinees — presuming that the Armed Forces will work towards eventual gender equality in all wings of the services. Therefore, it is hoped that other Indian agencies will not think along similar lines when considering timesaving methods to prevent cheating or other nefarious activities that involve secreting anything. In all likelihood, Indian ingenuity will find a way to get round such restrictions too if the gambit is used too often. Of course, getting down to the bare necessities has its advantages in other situations, as has been demonstrated by the pre-opening success of the first London pop-up restaurant with a nude section. The thousands who put their names on a waiting list for a three-month gig that can only accommodate a few hundreds — without even finding out what’s on the menu — bared the distractive power of déshabillé.