A premier girls’ college in Bhopal issued a new dress code banning jeans and other western attires on the campus, sparking outrage among a section of students who view the move as an infringement on their personal freedom.
The dress code of the Sarojni Naidu Girls Post Graduate Government College (Nutan College) will come into effect from January 1.
In November, the college administration had banned use of mobile phones and covering of face with scarf by students.
Students are only allowed to wear a salwar suit with check-patterned jacket
As per the new rules, students are only allowed to wear a salwar suit with check-patterned jacket on the campus.
The latest diktat of the college authority was ostensibly influenced by the higher education minister Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya’s desire to impose a dress code for undergraduate students in all the colleges of Madhya Pradesh.
The decision left a section of students and teachers fuming.
“We are unable to understand why college administration is putting so many restrictions on us. First, they had a problem with our use of cell phones and scarf and now they have a problem even with our dress,” said a BSC final year student.
Girls were in favour of the dress code: College principal
College principal Vandana Agnihotri, however justified the decision.
She told HT, “The decision was taken to bring about a sense of uniformity among the students and also discipline on the campus. Before taking the decision we had taken feedbacks from students. The girls were in favour of the dress code.”
The girl students HT spoke to differ with the principal saying in the name of uniformity, the college authority was trying to interfere in their personal freedom, which will affect their decision making capabilities.
Even some professors are not happy with the dress code.
“After coming out of schools, girls are expected to take decisions on matters of their personal choice in college life. That helps them grow into an independent and self-reliant person,” pointed out a teacher, wishing anonymity.
‘I don’t think the dress code will enforce uniformity’
“I don’t think the dress code will enforce uniformity by doing away distinction between a rich and a poor student”, she added.
Even traditionalists see a problem in the new order. Many married students said they took admission in the Nutan college primarily because it had no dress code and they could don sarees.
Many of these students now fear they would have to discontinue their studies.
‘Why these restrictions are imposed only for girls’
Another student asked why these restrictions are imposed only for girls. “There are 11 government colleges in Bhopal, but restrictions are imposed only on two girls’ colleges. Why this discrimination?” a BCom student of the college asked.
Bhopal’s MLB Girl College implemented the dress code on January 1, 2012. However, a section of students are happy with the new code. “We are happy with the dress code. We appreciate the move, but don’t want it to be imposed on final year students...,” said Juhi Paraste, a final year student.