Mumbai: It’s Medicos Vs Dean at JJ Hospital’s Grant Medical College. The clash between the parties continues to escalate following the much controversial enforcement of dress code which as stated by the students was an act of moral policing leading to mental trauma.
Recently, over 100 MBBS students staged the protest in the medical college premises as well as outside the campus Association Gymkhana, Marine Lines against the “injustice being meted out to them” at the hands of the Dean.
The dress code order was issued on March 23 by the medical college Dean Dr Ajay Chandanwale and Medical College Campus Hostel Warden Shilpa Patil. Since then there has been chaos at the medical institute.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the notice which 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. Some students had torn each other’s clothes during the Holi festivities.
This decision had however met severe backlash 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. The commotion saw these students wearing ankle length clothes with covered faces showing their resentment.
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 had been added to the dress code.
A week ago, condemning the alleged diktat imposed by the Dean, the JJ Hospital Grant Medical College Students’ Association filed a petition with the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) and the Education Minister, Girish Mahajan.
“Moral policing in the campus has been carried out regularly by the orders of dean, where boys and girls aren’t allowed to talk to each other in college campus after college hours. Dress code and unreasonable timings for girls’ hostel during the annual college fest, Asthiva. Girls were screened on the basis of their outfits by faculty member sent by dean’s order including ladies hostel warden Dr Shilpa Patil,” the letter mentioned.
Recently, over 100 MBBS students staged a protest in the college as well as outside Grant Medical College Association Gymkhana, Marine Lines, reports HT
The medicos were seen complaining that female students are often subjected to verbal abuse, especially those who have protested against the Dean. It has also been alleged by the female medicos that the medical college authorities even created an in-house library so female students didn’t have to step out of the hostel for studies, whereas male students are allowed to roam without any restrictions.
A student and member of the association, requesting anonymity, alleged while talking to The Hindu that protesting students have been threatened of academic consequences.
“We have also heard about a decision under which girls’ in-time in the hostel will be fixed at 9 pm… The dean is trying to curb our rights. We have been asked to eliminate various parts of our college festival and financial transactions have been seized for no reason. Besides that, students are being victimized,” the protesting students stated.
Another allegation was about “control” of the GMC gymkhana. Students alleged that the faculty plans to demolish Grant Medical College Association Gymkhana, which is meant for the medical students, without consulting them. TOI reports that the boys’ common room, a property of GMCSA, is illegally occupied by the Superintendent Dr Surase.
“After our protest, the dean sent a letter asking for 14 students to meet him. But why should he single out these students? He should address the association, not individuals,” a student informed TOI.
Dr Chandanwale told The Hindu that the students are not stating facts and that he is simply acting on the directives of the DMER on the gymkhana issue. “What they are saying is not true. No such decisions have been made,” he said.
Dr T Lahane, Director, DMER, informed, “We have formed a three-member committee to study the matter on Tuesday. They have been asked to investigate the students’ claims, and will submit their report in 10 to 15 days.”