Moral policing is taking us back to the Dark Ages

From four-inch long sleeves and tops that flow seven-inches below the waist to shoes that cover every inch of the foot, a Borivli law college has imposed a dress code on its students that they call ‘Taliban-like’. A circular issued by Nalanda College of Law on October 10 prescribes these and other rules including a ban on displaying body piercings and tattoos as part of a dress code, has a section of the students up in arms. The college claims that it is all about discipline, but this is moral policing couched under the veneer of disciplinary measures. The college also has a rule that all students have to wear white shirts and black trousers.

While the students admit that nobody has been penalised for not wearing white shirts and black trousers, the girls have stopped wearing skirts or sleeveless tops.

The college should not impose such rules on students, who when in a law college, should be old enough to adhere to decorum in dressing. These ridiculous rules like shoes that have to cover the entire foot, are positively back to the dark ages. One can say that formal attire may be recommended on certain days but to actually specify how many inches one’s sleeve or top covering the waist should be is nonsensical. The principal claimed that students in jeans and T-shirts looked like taporis but that argument holds little water. Tattoos too are shockingly disallowed. This law college needs to realise that the students are in India, not Afghanistan. In another instance of moral policing, TV anchor and model Gauahar Khan was slapped by a man because she was wearing ‘indecent’ clothes. Akil Malik, reportedly told her that being a Muslim she should not wear such short clothes.

One has to completely reject these arbitrary dress codes imposed mostly on women and curbs to freedom. This moral policing falls in the same bracket as women should not wear jeans, not carry mobiles and men and women should not be allowed to interact. Reject this regressive and illegal diktats by individuals. We see a dangerous trend of this on the rise, not just in small towns but cities like Mumbai too. Moral policing has no place in our society.



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