If you wear jeans, you are unlikely to be interested in studies. At least that’s what some teachers of a premier college in the city feel.
Magadh Mahila College administration is planning to issue a diktat banning students from wearing jeans and sleeveless tops with slogans and captions on them.
On Monday, college principal Dolly Sinha said: “The administration has not issued any fresh directive on this issue. But we have gone through what the prospectus says about sleeveless tops with slogans and tight-fit jeans.”
According to the prospectus, students should wear decent clothes. At present, the institution has uniforms for students of three undergraduate courses. BCom students have to wear green kurta and white pyjama, BBA students are required to don dark blue kurta and white pyjama, while BCA students have to come to college wearing black and red kurta with white pyjama.
But even this arrangement does not please everyone.
Political science teacher Sashi Sharma said: “Every educational institution is guided by a dress code. When students come to college, they should look like they have come to study not to party or to a shopping mall.”
But is there really a relation between wearing jeans and concentrating on studies?
Jeans — made from denim or dungaree — was invented in 1873 by Jacob Davis, a San Francisco-based tailor, and Levis Strauss, a wholesale dealer from Genoa in Italy who settled in US in the mid-nineteenth century. Initially marketed for cowboys and factory workers, the tough pants were made popular among the youth by Hollywood superstar James Dean in his 1955 blockbuster Rebel Without A Cause.
Students in premier institutions of higher education all over the world and India — like Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, and the IITs — go to campus wearing jeans, not only because of their association with youth icons and rock stars like Che Guevara and Bob Dylan but also because the tough pants, besides being stylish, are easy to take care of.
Students of Magadh Mahila College would be sent back home if they wear the favourite leggings of their counterparts in other institutions.
Sources said the student cabinet had already given its nod to the ban against tight-fit jeans and sleeveless tops. Members of the cabinet would stand outside the college gates and if they find any student flouting the norms, they would be sent back home.
They would, however, have some company from their counterparts at Patna Women’s College, which has also banned its students from wearing jeans and T-shirts. During admission, students have to fill up a form stating that they will not wear jeans or shorts.
Hearing of the proposed diktat of the college, a Patna University student said: “The decision to ban jeans and sleeveless clothes reflects a Taliban-like mentality.” (See graphic)
Comparing the college administration’s diktat with the Taliban proscription on attire might be taking the comparison too far but in most civilised societies, what one wears is considered to be one’s personal choice and any form of authoritative interference is considered to be obnoxious.
After coming to power in Afghanistan the 1980s, the Taliban — one of the most repressive regimes to rule any country — had made it compulsory for women to wear a particular kind of burqua that covered them from head to toe.
Not happy with banning clothes, Sharma also wants students to wear a uniform. “Apart from giving a sense of identity to students, it also removes economic or other differences among them,” she said.
Her students, however, do not agree. A second-year BCom student, who did not want to be named, said: “We have learnt that the college is planning to pass such a directive. There is no logic for it.”
She added: “What guarantee is there that a woman wearing a salwar or sari will look more decent or be safe from teasers? We hear of hundreds of cases of women who do not wear western attire being teased.” The student said she would unwillingly toe the line if the college passed the diktat.
Attire DIKTAT proposal DRAWS IRE
Students, parents and social
activists were united in trashing
the proposed diktat of the college authorities banning jeans and sleeveless clothes on campus
The decision to ban jeans and sleeveless clothes reflects a
Taliban-like mentality. It is very disappointing to face such directives in a civilised society
university students are not toddlers. They are mature enough to take decisions. Such a directive is an attempt to
interfere in their personal affairs
Kriti Singh, alumna
Magadh Mahila College
There is no guarantee that wearing
salwars and saris
will check cases of
eve-teasing. Instead of issuing such directives, the institution should ensure security for girls
Suman Singh, social activist
What’s wrong with jeans and T-shirts? Even girls from rural background wear western clothes nowadays. Such a diktat
is regressive Satyajit Mukhopadhay,
Do you want to wear jeans to college? Tell firstname.lastname@example.org