Almost final, half of the ethnic attire for convocations in Uttarakhand

BJP government tests pahari topi and white muffler at SDSUU convocation, may also adopt pichora to create graduation ceremony attire

dehradun Updated: Jun 19, 2017 20:24 IST
Prithviraj Singh
Prithviraj Singh
Hindustan Times
Convocation gown,Pahari topi,pichora
Governor KK Paul and students don the pahari topi during convocation ceremony at Sri Dev Suman University.(HT Photo)

 Students graduating from different colleges in Uttarakhand would be soon flinging up the pahari topis instead of the square black caps at the convocation ceremonies.

The square black caps, popularly known as convocation caps or graduation caps, alongwith the traditional gowns worn during the convocations are on their way out in Uttarakhand where chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has termed them “relics of the colonial era”.

State’s higher education minister Dhan Singh Rawat has all but finalised the black pahari topi and white muffler to be worn during convocations. All that remains to be finalized is the replacement for the gown.

On a trial basis, the pahari topi and white muffler were used for the first time during the convocation ceremony at Sri Dev Suman Uttarakhand University (SDSUU). Dhan Singh and Governor KK Paul, who were present at theceremony on Saturday, also donned the ethnic topi and muffler.

“It was a trial. Efforts are on to select and create a proper dress code based on traditional Indian and Uttarakhandi ethnic attires for convocation ceremonies. We don’t want to hang on to the decades-old British dress code for graduation ceremony. The CM also wants it to happen,” said the minister, who is scouring ancient Hindu religious texts to find a replacement for the ceremonial robe.

According to sources in the higher education department, search is still on for proper replacement of the gowns. According to the sources, the government may also make pichora, a traditional ceremonial stole from Kumaon, a part of the convocation ensemble.

The hunt for new convocation attire began after chief minister refused to wear the traditional gown during the convocation ceremony of University of Petroleum and Energy Studies few days back and said that the “country should take pride in its ancestors, its ancient wisdom and culture and should not give up its roots”.

The CM had later taken to micro-blogging site Twitter suggesting that the traditional ‘pichora, payjama-kurta, jacket and cap’ could be a substitute. He also sought suggestions from the public.

Dhan Singh has already said that his department is looking into the dresses that were sported in Takshila, one of the earliest known universities dating back to 1000 BCE. Takshila is situated in present-day Rawalpindi in Pakistan. The minister had also talked about the mention of an acharyakulam (school based on Vedic education) in Skanda Puran, one of the earliest Vedic religious texts. “It would be interesting to know what ceremonial dresses were in fashion in those times,” he had said.

The debate over the convocation robe started in 2010 when former environment minister Jairam Ramesh shrugged off the dress in a convocation ceremony of IIFM in Bhopal, terming it as a “barbaric colonial practice”.

First Published: Jun 19, 2017 20:24 IST