MUMBAI: A college in Mumbai has imposed a dress code banning hijabs, burkas, torn jeans, T-shirts, revealing dresses, and jerseys, aiming to maintain discipline on campus.
This decision by the Chembur Trombay Education Society‘s N G Acharya and D K Marathe College follows a Bombay High Court ruling that upheld the institution’s right to enforce such rules, asserting they do not infringe upon students‘ fundamental rights.
The notice issued on June 27 instructs students to wear formal and decent attire while on campus. For boys, the acceptable attire includes half or full shirts and trousers, while girls are permitted to wear any Indian or western outfit.
The notice specifies that garments revealing religion or suggesting cultural disparities are prohibited, meaning students must remove items like hijabs, burkas, naqabs, stoles, caps and badges in the common rooms before moving through the campus.
“Students shall not wear any dress which reveals religion or shows cultural disparity. Nakab, hijab, burka, stole, cap etc shall be removed by going to the common rooms on the ground floor and then only (students) can move throughout the college campus.”
“Torn jeans, T-shirts, revealing dresses, and jerseys are not allowed,” it stated further.
This policy has particularly affected the college’s Muslim students from areas such as Shivaji Nagar, Govandi, and Mankhurd. The school has also emphasized that maintaining 75 percent attendance is mandatory for all students, emphasizing the necessity of discipline.
“Discipline is the key to success,” the notice added.
Subodh Acharya the general secretary of the college governing council clarified that this directive is not a new imposition but a continuation of an earlier circular. He stressed that the college is merely asking students to avoid wearing revealing attire and is not compelling them to adopt specific traditional attire or color.
“The notice is not new. We are only asking students to follow the dress code which states not to wear revealing clothes. We are also not asking students to wear sarees or attire of any particular color,” he said.
College principal Vidyagauri Lele reiterated that students are allowed to arrive on campus dressed in hijabs or burkas, but they must change these outfits in the college common room before proceeding with their activities.
“Students can come to college wearing a hijab or burka, change it in the college common room, and then do their work,” Lele stated.
This dress code decision came under scrutiny last month when students challenged it in the high court. However, the high court upheld the college’s policy on June 26, stating that a dress code is integral to maintaining discipline, which the institution has a right to enforce as part of its administrative functions.
The court underlined that this policy applies to all students, regardless of their religion or caste, and dismissed the petition against the ban filed by nine female students.
The college’s commitment to enforcing these guidelines reflects its stance on ensuring uniformity and discipline on campus, seeking to foster an environment that aligns with its educational ethos.