Guest Column

Hyderabad college : Hemlines or Education?

Students of St Francis College in Hyderabad are upset with restrictions being placed on their attire when they come to college. Students claim they have been asked to wear knee length kurtis to the all-women college or return home. 

A student of the college wrote this column for Filter Kaapi. She wished to keep her identity anonymous. 

By a student who wished to keep her identity confidential

As students of an institution that is so reputed, we are expected to follow certain rules made by the management. We have no objection to the rules.

We signed an undertaking saying that we will, but nowhere in the undertaking was it written that we would have to wear kurtis that were below our knees and sleeves that go beyond our elbows. 

We have nothing against kurtis. It is a beautiful part of our culture and we are not ashamed by them. It is its length that is defined as “modest and right” by the college that is problematic to us.

They justified and backed this rule by telling us that we come to college to study and not for “body exhibition”, that we are responsible for the college’s image when we wear our ID cards and if we wear short and tight clothes and walk on the road, men look at us. We were told that when we grow older and are ready to get married, we would get good marriage proposals if we dress “modestly”. We were told that there are male staff in the college and it is inappropriate to wear short and tight clothing in their presence.

All of us come from good and respectable families, it’s humiliating for us when we are stopped at the entrance, when a finger is pointed at our thighs and knees and we are told that the length of the kurti is inappropriate and we are sent back home.

We are here to study. While all this is going on, we are still working on our projects, presentations, tests, etc. And that is  what we came here for. To study. It is a reputed college.

They give us quality education and practical experience but asking us to go back home and miss classes because our kurtis are merely a few centimetres or an inch higher than our knees is just wrong. They have no right to humiliate us like that.

When one is confident in one’s clothing and is carrying oneself with dignity and pride, the college whose vision is to empower us is putting us down.
The irony is that the same college has women empowerment as its vision and is proudly offering courses such as feminist politics. But when it arbitrarily imposes misogynistic ideals, it is upsetting to study in such a women’s institution.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. Filter Kaapi Live does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.  

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