Patna: A prominent college in Bihar has banned jeans, shorts and other “provocative” dresses for girls on the campus in a move it says will bring uniformity and enforce discipline, inviting mute protests from a section of students.
Magadh Mahila College (MMC), a leading college in Patna exclusively for girls, issued the order on Wednesday and announced strict enforcement of it from January next year. The college administration has also banned use of cell phones in the classrooms and announced a fine of Rs1,000 (Dh56) on students caught using it on the college campus. However, authorities have arranged a mobile-free zone where students can use phones.
College principal Shashi Sharma said the ban was necessary as the dresses worn by students were “embarrassing” and creating a social divide. “Muslim girls don’t wear jeans so they never objected. Dresses worn by Hindu girls were embarrassing,” the principal told the media today. She added the students should adopt a decent style and look at an educational institution, and avoid attending the college in “provocative” clothes, or applying lip colour.
The principal defended her decision, saying, “Ours isn’t a modern college that it can take such modernity. We think traditionally and are miles away from modernity. It will take 50 years to reach there”.
Although the college administration claims the ban on “provocative” dresses is aimed at enforcing “social parity”, insiders say the order could be linked to a recent spate of rape incidents that have gripped the state. As per an official report, a total of 922 incidents of rape have been reported until September this year, which means on an average three incidents of rapes are taking place every day in the state.
The ban order comes close on the heels of a similar ban imposed by a village court in northern Bihar’s Gopalganj district. The village court met in September this year and banned the wearing of jeans and T-shirts for college-going girls, claiming it would put a check on the rising cases of elopements — the key factor behind honour killings.