India: 'Dress code' row reveals student 'going out ban'

  • 29 July 2013

Female students at one of India's oldest universities are banned from visiting cinemas or restaurants, it's emerged.

It came as Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) withdrew a circular ordering students to wear "decent clothes", after reports suggested it had outlawed jeans and T-shirts. National daily Indian Express was among those reporting that one hall of residence had issued a diktat saying young women must wear traditional dress like salwar kameez - pyjama-style trousers with a long tunic - or face a 500-rupee (£5.50) fine. It quoted hall provost Ghazala Parveen as saying: "They should be properly and decently dressed... if any indecent incident happens, I will not be held responsible."

The Press Trust of India says AMU's hierarchy withdrew the circular, quoting pro-Vice Chancellor Brig S Ahmad Ali as saying there'd been no intention to impose a dress code: "All that we have sought is that students including girls should be in a decent attire which reflects the ethos of our society." A university spokesman told the Times of India that existing restrictions on eating out and visiting cinemas remain in place, however. Delhi-based NDTV quoted one teacher as saying the suggestion that boys would be distracted if girls go out was "reprehensible".

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