Students of St Francis College in Hyderabad, Telangana, held a protest today, September 16, against the authority’s diktat to girl students asking them not to wear dresses above knee-length.
Since August 1, the college banned western outfits and asked the students to adhere to wearing only ‘long kurtas’ inside the college campus. Students not complying were barred from attending classes. The girls were reportedly also told that long kurtas would get them good marriage proposals, according to media reports.
Many students and activists across the spectrum slammed the decision dubbing it as ‘moral policing’.
However, the college went to the extent of deploying a woman security guard to ensure that no girl student was defying the dress code.
“Such kinds of diktats were always in place in one or the other form. I passed out in 2015 and until that time we were instructed to adhere to traditional dresses,” said Karishma, an alumnus of the college.
Karishma further added, “While we should be talking about careers and ethics, the college disturbingly draws an analogy of a dress with good marriage proposals. I remember the college as a platform which gave ample opportunities to students to stand out and grow, but the way the administration is behaving is really disturbing.”
Another ex-student mentioned how the dress code was imposed in the middle of the year. The college also hired female security guards to check the length of kurtis.
“They went ahead and pulled girls by their id cards and even pulled their kurtis,” Zanobia Tumbi alleged in her Facebook post, which had several videos showing the security guards quarreling with the students.
Educationist Krishna Wooday, speaking to Mirror Now, argued that the dress code in a college campus should be such that it is not provocative.
“We should not issue any diktat saying that one should go only for an eastern dress or a western dress. Such rules like kurti not being above the knee do not really matter and in fact, reflect badly. Instead of issuing diktats, the college principal and other authorities should talk to students about all such issues and resolve the matter in a harmonious way,” Wooday said.
Meanwhile, the college has allowed students to wear shirts and jeans, but there is still a long list of dresses which the girl students are not allowed to wear on the campus.
The college administration has not responded to the development.