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Posted at: Oct 21, 2019, 6:45 AM; last updated: Oct 21, 2019, 6:45 AM (IST)

Sartorial choice

Patiala medical college’s dress code patriarchal
Sartorial choice

More than a reflection on the students’ sartorial sense, the enforcement of a dress code by singling out girls betrays the regressive mindset of the teachers. The latest in the saga of such diktats that are issued regularly in our country is the one by a professor of Government Medical College, Patiala. On the flimsy plea of maintenance of decorum, MBBS girl students have been directed to refrain from wearing jeans and leggings to the classroom and stick to salwar-kameez-dupatta. The patriarchal and discriminatory silence on the code for boys implies that jeans are not a no-no for them. Apparently, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander. Coming on the heels of the earlier orders restricting the students from ordering food online or partying at night, it would seem that rather it’s the authorities that are in need of a dressing-down. What’s essential to ‘tame’ the students of this prestigious college of the region — all of whom have secured admission after a gruelling competition — is strictness in imparting education so that they emerge from the institution as quality doctors. Attire is a personal choice and is best left at that for the adult students.

Regressive steps only boomerang. Last year, a similar order by the Amritsar medical college banning the boys and girls from wearing jeans, T-shirts and skirts sparked a controversy, with the students opposing the edict of formal wear. Medicos in Mumbai, Chennai and Patna colleges, too, have been told to keep off tight-fitting jeans or sleeveless garments from time to time. There is little to show if such imposition of ‘discipline and decency’ has bettered the output.  

The squeamish attitude of the authorities — in which the girls get to bear the brunt of double standards and sermonising — seems outlandish in these times of the kids donning such casual clothing with ease. It is better to shed the moralising tone and accept the younger generation’s standards of grooming. Just as our seniors did with us.

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