In the twenty first century when the new generation is discussing the legalities of homo-sexuality and live-in relations, in a notice issued to the students, the principal of Guru Nanak Dev University College has suggested girls and boys not shake hands while meeting each other.
Issued on August 21, the notice signed by principal Jaspal Singh Randhawa has raked up a massive controversy. The notice states that instead of shaking hands, boys and girls should greet each other with 'Namaste, Sat Sri Akal, Salaam or any other means valid as per Indian culture.'
According to the principal, as per Indian culture and values, girls do not look nice shaking hands with boys in public places and students should show follow Indian culture on the college campus. The notice that has become a piece of mockery among the students and faculty members of the college is being criticised by all quarters, especially by the girls studying in the college.
"Such notices show the kind of mindset our society has towards relationships between boys and girls. When the principal of a college thinks on such lines, the matter becomes a grave concern at a time when we are talking openly about such issues to decrease crimes like rapes," a lady faculty member of the college said on condition of anonymity.
When contacted, the principal justified his act of issuing the notice citing it was only his suggestion to the students and not a dictate. "I personally feel shaking hands is not as per the Indian living style and is a part of western culture. The media is blowing the issue out of proportion and I have done no wrong," Randhawa said.
He also criticised his staff for sending the notice to the media to tarnish his image. "I am shocked to see the mindset of the media who are also calling me up on such a small issue. Media should first clarify with me. I have not mentioned any punishment for students if they do not follow my advice," the prinicpal said.