Mumbai College Bans Jeans and T-Shirts; Students Upset

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Acharya Marathe College implements dress code following controversial decision to ban hijab

Team Clarion

MUMBAI – In a move that has sparked significant consternation among the student community, the Acharya Marathe College in the Chembur suburb of the country’s financial capital, has banned students from wearing jeans and t-shirts on campus. The decision, implemented on June 27, comes in the wake of the hijab controversy which had already drawn considerable attention and legal scrutiny.

The notice titled ‘Dress Code and Other Rules’, issued by college principal Dr. Vidyagauri Lele, specifically prohibits wearing ripped jeans, T-shirts, and jerseys with revealing clothes. On Monday, around 40 students found themselves barred from entering the college as they arrived dressed in jeans and T-shirts. The college administration maintained that the new dress code is meant to ensure students dress in a formal and decent manner.

“Students should come dressed in good clothes,” stated Dr. Lele. “This decision is to ensure a dress code and is not intended to target any religion or community.”

However, this decision has not been well-received by many students, who argue that it infringes on their personal freedom. One student expressed frustration, saying, “We were wearing jeans, which is my usual dress, but for the first time, the security guard stopped me at the college gate. The college administration must change its attitude.”

The controversy comes on the heels of a hijab ban at the same college, with the issue even going to the Bombay High Court. The court had upheld the college’s decision, supporting the enforcement of a dress code.

Students argue that the new dress code violates their constitutional rights to religious and cultural freedom. “The dress code is a form of harassment,” said one angry student. “It violates our rights to wear what we consider our cultural attire.”

The college administration’s stance has stirred resentment among the student body. Many feel that the policy is an overreach and an unnecessary imposition on their personal choices. The enforcement of the dress code on Monday, which saw numerous students turned away at the college gate, has only heightened tensions.

As the debate continues, the broader implications of such dress code policies are being questioned. Are they essential for maintaining decorum, or do they impinge on individual rights and freedoms? This incident at Acharya Marathe College highlights the ongoing struggle between institutional regulations and personal liberties in educational environments.

For now, students and administrators remain at an impasse, with calls for dialogue and reconsideration of the dress code growing louder. The situation at Acharya Marathe College may set a precedent for other educational institutions grappling with similar issues, as the balance between respect for tradition and the assertion of personal freedom continues to evolve.

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