The University of Delhi (DU) has released a notice which announces prohibition on particular items of clothing at all the fests of colleges in the university. Students have heavily criticised the move. Read on to find why.
In a notice released by the University of Delhi (DU) on Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, the authorities have prohibited specific forms of clothing to be worn during inter- collegiate festivals inside college premises. The notice was undersigned by the Vice- Chancellor, Professor Yogesh K Tyagi, of the varsity, and it has been applied with an official statement by the varsity, citing the need for ‘security, decorum, and civic entertainment’ at college fests.
Some of the prohibitions mentioned in the notice include “skirts/shorts 2 inches above knees, tank tops, off-shoulder shirts, muscle shirts, spaghetti straps, strapless tops, any clothing item (specifically, but not limited to t-shirts) with offensive statements (towards any religion, caste, creed, race, gender, and/or community).” The notice specifies that midriffs must not be bared in any attire, and ‘overtly baggy’ apparels are also not allowed because of weapons and other dangerous or objectionable items that may be hidden there.
Outraged, the students took to social networking platforms like Twitter to express their discontent. Popular comic and the host of web talk show ‘Shut Up Ya Kunal’, Kunal Kamra posted the following: “Hum fascist nahi hain, hum bas tumhara wardrobe decide karenge.” (We are not fascists; we will only decide your wardrobe). Niharika Dabral, a third- year student at Cluster Innovation Centre (CIC), stated, “In a time when the fight is to incorporate diversity of thoughts and identities amid our conditioning systems, the only real objective behind the regulation seems to be the jargon of sanskaar (values) and the need to fit the youth in a perceived picture of traditional, accepted values. Every other given reason is an excuse to disguise these motivations.”
In light of the college fest season being just round the corner, several protests and demonstrations have been announced to oppose the regulations. Students from colleges such as Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Miranda House, Hindu College, Ramjas College, and Hansraj College have shared on social media platforms that they will be organising a protest on Friday, 25th January at 5 p.m. outside the Faculty of Arts.
According to the students, the move is a violation of their freedom of expression, and they find the intervening regulations threatening to educational spaces. In a central university like DU, the regulations act as a curb on diversity and difference of opinions, forcing the students to modify their appearance – an aspect crucial to their identity – as per a believed value system.
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Featured Image Credits- Saubhagya Saxena