MP: college bans sleeveless clothes for women

Nida Khan

India, July 26 -- After asking girls to write an essay on Indian culture, as a form of punishment for wearing sleeveless dresses to college, the director of Institute for Management Studies (IMS) PN Mishra went a step further on Thursday by issuing a notice barring girls from wearing sleeveless clothes to college.

The notice pasted on the college premises asks girl students to come decently dressed to college, and avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless dresses. Interestingly, the notice keeps mum about the dressing sense of male students.

"On the induction day, our director had mentioned that female students should not wear sleeveless dresses. As even good families do not allow their female members to go out dressed in this fashion," said Rakhi, a student of the college.

Reacting to the latest diktat, another student Richa says, "The reason for the director's anti-sleeveless dress drive is that it can distract students. What concentration and distraction can a student achieve with a single inch of cloth on one's shoulder?"

"Every day the director stands outside the college premises around 8am, and allows students to enter the college only if he feels their dress is suitable according to the decency norms set by him."

Sameeksha, another student at the institute points out, "Banning shorts or skirts in college is something I can understand, but what is the problem with a sleeveless kurta. A lot of faculty members wear sleeveless blouses and kurtas, nobody stops them."

Speaking on the issue, woman nodal officer Sangeeta Jain said, "The management has just asked students to come to college dressed in a decent manner. Our focus was never to target girls alone; we have also asked boys not to wear t-shirts which have double-meaning quotes on them." On being asked about the latest notice posted in the college, she replied, "The notice was issued with the director's seal. He will be the best person to answer your query."

However, while the IMS management seemed firm on its anti-sleeveless norm, the acting vice-chancellor of DAVV, RD Musalgaonkar was seen to be on the other side of the fence. "I don't have any knowledge about the recent happenings in IMS. But on a personal front, as a member of the society, I don't think that wearing a sleeveless dress to college is something which is outrageous. It is something very common and normal."

Traditional appeal

A professor of business ethics and Indian tradition, Mishra allegedly performs 'Aarti' in his cabin before asking students to write an essay. At times the director can also be seen giving a lecture on decent dressing to families of the students.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.