Female medical students of state-run JJ Hospital’s Grant Medical College on Sunday protested against what they claimed was an attempt at moral policing by authorities through a diktat asking them not to wear “short skirts” and to sit separately from their male counterparts during events.
The authorities came up with these instructions after a Holi event on March 21 on the campus of the medical institution witnessed ruckus and unruly scenes by some youth.
Protesting female students Sunday wore ankle-length clothes and covered their faces to show their resentment towards the circular from authorities.
The college administration shared two posts detailing the instructions, one on Facebook and the other on a Whatsapp group of hostel inmates, a protesting student said.
“The posts are said to be issued by Dean Dr Ajay Chandanwale and Warden Shilpa Patil. They lay down that female students must not wear short skirts, and should sit separately during a college event. It also instructed the girls to return to their hostels before 10 pm,” the student said.
Speaking to reporters at the protest venue, she said, “We condemn this decision of the college administration as it unnecessarily encroaches on our right to dress the way we want. Why should everyone be punished for the handiwork of some unruly students.”
The second instruction, she said, was about an annual college event ‘Astitva’ which was held recently.
“Male and female students were asked to sit separately during the Astitva event. We fail to understand the logic behind this decision since there are male and female students who are good friends and would want to sit together. It is ridiculous on the part of the authorities to come up with such a diktat,” she said.
When contacted, Dean Dr Chandanwale said, “The expectation from female students is that they dress appropriately. This alone was my message to the students.
There was some ruckus during Holi celebrations, so we decided to take strict measures.”
“If there is any grudge or objection (from students), we will hear them out and take appropriate (remedial) steps,” the JJ Hospital dean said.