Dress code: Maha Medical College tells MBBS girls to avoid short skirts, sparks protest
The decision to impose this dress code strictly for female MBBS students was taken in pursuance to the Holi event when ruckus and unruly scenes by some youth were witnessed. Some students had torn each other's clothes during the Holi festivities
Mumbai: Terming the newly issued dress code as an encroachment to their rights, female MBBS students at Grant Medical College JJ group of Hospitals recently staged a mass protest.
The commotion saw these students wearing ankle length clothes with covered faces; condemning the medical college administration’s decision to impose diktat restricting them to wear short skirts, sit with their male counterparts and come back to their hostel premises by 10 PM.
According to recent media accounts, the notice was issued on March 23 by the medical college Dean Dr Ajay Chandanwale and hostel Warden Shilpa Patil.
The notice read that the dress code has to be followed by the students and no shorts or short dress will be allowed. It also stated that no vulgarity inside the campus is permitted, and cases of harassment on girls will not be tolerated. It further stated that girls should come back to the hostel by 10 pm.
The decision to impose this dress code strictly for female MBBS students was taken in pursuance to the Holi event when ruckus and unruly scenes by some youth were witnessed at the reputed medical college campus. DNA reports that some students had torn each other's clothes during the Holi festivities.
The college administration shared two posts detailing the instructions, one on Facebook and the other on a Whatsapp group of hostel inmates.
The decision has however met severe condemnation from female medicos. On March 24, the students 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 male counterparts during events.
Protesting female students Sunday wore ankle-length clothes and covered their faces to show their resentment towards the circular from authorities, reports PTI.
Speaking to the media, one of the protesting students 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.
"The girls were not in the mood to give in and it ended finally with other two conditions put on us, wherein the authorities told us that we will be allowed to wear whatever we want if we agree that girls and boys will not only sit separately for the show but will also dance separately for the DJ night," another student claimed while talking to Mid-Day.
“They were stationed at the girls’ hostel to check what each one was wearing. Many girls were asked to change as they did not approve of their clothes,” a student informed The Hindu adding that on several occasions in the past two months, medical college staff has dispersed groups of girls and boys mingling together. “When the girls questioned the restrictions, they were told boys don’t get pregnant,” one student alleged.
Clarification by office
When asked about the dress code, 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."
However, it has been claimed that the notice was only about shorts, not the female medicos sitting or dancing with male counterparts. The dean claimed that false clauses have been added to the dress code and in response to the same, the medical college administration has decided to initiate an investigation into the matter. “We will form a committee to probe who added these false clauses of students sitting separately and who circulated this post. The dress code did not differentiate between genders and was only against shorts,” JJ Dean Dr Ajay Chandanwale said to Mirror.
He told DNA, "We are not against celebrating festivals of different cultures nor do we have any problem if they dance together. The point that they should not dance together was not added by the authority. Girls have the freedom to live their lives as they wish. During the celebration, the students were seen tearing each other's clothes which is considered as misbehaviour. Students are not allowed to pull and/or tear each other's clothes in the hospital in front of senior staff members and professors, patients and their relatives. Discipline and decorum have to be maintained. Thus, we had to issue the notice."
"If there is any grudge or objection (from students), we will hear them out and take appropriate (remedial) steps," the JJ Hospital dean said.