In a controversial move, Patna's JD Women's College issued a notice banning Muslim students from wearing burkhas on the campus. Signed by the Principal, the notice mentioned a dress code that must be followed by the students. The notice also stated that wearing a burkha in college is prohibited and any student found violating this dress code will have to pay a fine of Rs. 250. However, the ban has been retracted following a backlash.
"All students have to come to college in the prescribed dress code, every day except on Saturday. Students are prohibited from wearing 'burkha' in college. A fine of Rs 250 has been imposed for those who don't follow the rules," reads the notice issued by the college.
Veena Amrit, proctor of JD Women’s College, told Hindustan Times, “We already have a uniform for the college and all the students have been following the prescribed dress code as mentioned in the prospectus. We have banned burkha only inside the classroom to maintain uniformity. This is done to ensure that every student is in the same uniform.” She added, "It is not possible to know if a girl is wearing the college uniform under the burkha. So, we have asked them to stick to the college uniform that is mentioned in the college prospectus."
All students have to come to college in the prescribed dress code, every day except on Saturday. Students are prohibited from wearing 'burkha' in college. - JD Women’s College notice
Backlash And Withdrawal
As expected, the move led to significant backlash. The students staged a protest against the discriminatory dress code. Many also called it communal. This has led to a withdrawal of the ban. India Today reports that Principal Shyama Rai said that she is withdrawing the order that banned burkha in college.
In India too, several instances of strict dress code are also being noticed in colleges. Many of these dress code rules are directly discriminatory against female students. Muslim women, especially, seem to bear the brunt of such dress codes. In September of last year, students of St. Francis College in Hyderabad protested against the dress code. The women’s college had imposed a ‘strict’ dress code on students which forced them to wear only kurtis of knee-length or longer and not sleeveless. Hundreds of students boycotted their class, held placards in their outrage against the new dress code. The placards had powerful messages like ‘We are skipping our lessons to teach you one,' ‘My body my choice,' ‘Our voices speak, not our clothes,’ among others.
As expected, the move led to significant backlash. The students staged a protest against the discriminatory dress code. Many also called it communal. This has led to a withdrawal of the ban.
The government-aided Shree Rama Chandra Kanhaiyalal College was also recently in news after a video showing the college principal swinging a baton near students wearing black burkhas made it to social media. The female students said that they were not allowed to enter the college in burkhas. However, the college denied this. It also added that only black burkhas were forbidden, while grey ones were allowed. The college said that the colour was to be in uniformity with the dress code.
Picture Credit : The News Minute
Prapti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV