Sari as daily wear for women (who are not forced to wear it) is no longer the norm in big cities. Most women who wear it every day, do it either because they are used to it or because they are not allowed to wear salwar kurta or western wear, like in traditional Joint Families or in some workplaces.
For many others, wearing a sari at home is so unusual that if they wear it, they are asked what the occasion is.
Since wearing of sari is often a compulsion, not wearing a sari is seen as an indication of a woman being allowed to make personal choices. This also applies to symbols of marriage, like sindoor and mangalsutra.
I knew one woman who wore jeans when her in laws were away and switched to sari when they were around, she said she did this to show them respect. These days many women are allowed to show respect to their in laws in whatever they are comfortable wearing, and women generally seem to be proud of such in laws.
Also, married women who are not forced to wear sari (or symbols of marriage) are seen as being luckier by women who don’t have such freedom.
Those who prefer to see women in saris often criticize women in western wear as ‘liberated, modern, westernized’ women.
Some women are allowed to wear the nightie or maxi (a full length night dress) and they wear sari only when they are dressing up, preferring the nightie/maxi most of the time at home, and often even outside.
Sari is still very popular for festive and formal occasions.
The way the sari was worn traditionally, without a blouse or a petticoat, was more suited to Indian weather conditions. The modern blouse and the petticoats were introduced by the British (a western influence). The modern 6 yards sari, very gradually over the past many decades, has been replacing the traditional saris worn in various parts of India. This popular modern version might evolve further, maybe into something worn only for special occasions.
And the question: Why do you think are Indian women (and men) choosing to wear modern clothing? Why aren’t we wearing the traditional turbans, dhoti/mundu and saris, lehengas in our daily lives, the way our grand parents did? If you wear sari/dhoti-kurta everyday, then what makes you do that, if you don’t then why not?
Shashi Tharoor : Sari fate ? – by Amodini
Sorry no Saree Part I – Careless Chronicles