Amit Varma blogs about an article from Mumbai Mirror.
Skimpily clad students can provoke incidents like the Marine Drive rape, the Mumbai University feels (never mind if the victim in this case was actually not wearing a skimpy outfit, only a black tee-shirt and blue jeans), so Vice-Chancellor Vijay Khole has called a meeting of all city college principals in the first week of July to discuss “campus attire” for students. Students are crossing the limits of decency, Khole told Mumbai Mirror. “After the Marine Drive rape case, we think scantily clothed students could be one of the reasons that such incidents happen.”
Amit is shocked at the regressiveness of Vijay Khole in wanting to impose a dress code of decency. He understands that political parties, especially rambling rightos like VHP-Shiv Sena, can make such demands. But a VC ? Surely he should be able to see through this oft-repeated simplistic, patently wrong association between revealing clothes and rape.
Yes he should. But when have we started expecting men in educational institutions to show “common sense” and “good judgment” ?
In early 90s, the principal of a college in Calcutta went hammer and tongs after a female student who wore a Tshirt with a suggestive phrase written on it———–the offending phrase being “Tomake Chai” (I want you), the first line of a then-popular Bengali song written by the artist formerly known as Suman Chakraborty.
His logic was that the Tshirt was diverting the minds of other students (male) and thus vitiating the educational atmosphere of the college. Being a CPM stooge (most college principals, if not all, in Bengal are) he found ready support from the Leftist unions. The girl was threatened with expulsion—– a dictat was passed that all girls should henceforth be modestly attired in salwar and sari.
Professors don’t come to class in order to conduct private tuitions. University supplies are openly pilfered by its staff. Student leaders prevent serious students from attending classes.
However, neither the principal nor the unions find these, in any way, contributory to a “vitiated educational experience.”
However a lady’s tshirt………oh ho ho………
Well why? Simple. The principal/unions wanted to be “seen doing something” —it’s obvious he cannot tell the teachers to teach, the staff to stop stealing or the student union dadas to bring normalcy to the college.
What he can do is prevent a girl from wearing a tshirt.
No that’s not what I meant. But you get the picture.
After the earth- shaking DPS Dhamaka, the principal of DPS sent a letter to parents warning about the “moral vacuum” faced by today’s kids.
In the letter titled ‘From the desk of the principal’, the principal, laments the “existing malaise of rowdyism and rbehavioriour, disrespect to elders, the lack of etiquette and values in general”. It attributes this “moral vacuum” to the influences of the media, internet and peer group pressures and exhorts parents to “empower” students “through aesthetic, intellectual and cultural refinement.” The missive then informs parents that girl students will have to wear flannel trousers from the next academic session. It also has a list of don’ts, which include bringing cell phones to school, sloganeering and signature campaigns, wearing shabby and sloppy uniforms, bunking classes, wearing garments with slogans on them, and so on.
Flannel trousers for the girls ? As I pointed out before, was it just to make it difficult to get in and out of them?
As if DPS Dhamaka had anything to do with non-flannel clothes, shabby uniforms, signature campaigns…………….ok cell phone yes…..but it was the camera inside the cell phone which did the trick. Plus the entire incident happened off school premises………..so the entire list of strictures is quite useless.
But yet again the motivation is not to do anything (mainly because nothing realistically can be done to prevent another DPS Dhamaka) but to be “seen doing something”.
From sex in education, let’s conclude with “sex education”.
Mulayam Singh Yadav’s basic education minister is outraged a central committee has recommended introduction of sex education in schools and has red-flagged any such proposal for Uttar Pradesh……………
“No way, it will promote obscenity and destroy the state’s culture.”
Yes Minister. Just like skimpy clothes get a girl raped, sex education promotes obscenity and destroys culture.
We all know that.
Now here comes the climax. From the same article above.
“Nanhe munne bacchon ko condom sikhana hai? (You want to teach kiddies about condoms)” an aghast Kiran Pal Singh (the minister in question) asked yesterday.
Of course not !
When I sing “Nanhe Munhe Bacche Teri Mutthi Main Kya Hain?” (Innocent Kiddie, what’s in your hand?”) and our innocent kiddies wink back and show us contraceptives (thanks to what they have learnt in school)………….well that my friends would be the end of civilization as I know it.
Kiran Pal Singh and Vijay Khole………..may your tribe increase.