The Bihar Post

Bihar college asks girls to attend classes only with ponytails, move triggers protests


PATNA—A bizarre order by a prominent women’s college in Bihar asking girl students to attend classes only with ponytails has triggered strong protests with the students likening it to “Talibani diktat”.

Although the college claims it is part of the attempt to enforce discipline on the campus, the students describe it as sheer encroachments into their right to freedom.

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It all began after Sundarwati Women’s College (SWC), Bhagalpur issued a new dress code for the intermediate girl students enrolled for session for the new session, 2021-2023.

Under the new dress code issued last week, the students were told to attend classes dressed in royal blue kurtha and white salwar with a duptta. But what irked them the most is the way they were banned from entering the college with open hair and were instead told to attend classes only with ponytails—at least one is a must although two will be better.

College order

The move, however, has not gone down well within the girls who described it as open infringement of their rights to freedom as guaranteed under the Constitution.

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“The order by the college administration appears similar to the law of the Taliban who have recaptured Afghanistan and are frequently snatching the rights of the women,” commented a girl student wishing not to be quoted.

According to them, they are living in a democratic country and such curbs should not be imposed on them. They said they must be allowed to attend classes as per their will and should not be forced to abide by the college’s diktats. Several students’ organizations too have come out in support of the protesting girls.

RJD’s student wing chief Dilip Kumar Yadav said they welcome the new dress code for the girl students but forcing them to attend classes only with ponytails was unjustified and appears to be a “regressive” act.

He said banning open hair of girls highlighted the “low mentality” of the administration and threatened to resort to angry protests if the administration didn’t withdraw the order.

NSUI leader Prashant Banerjee also opposed the enforcement of new hairstyle for girls. He said a delegation of student leaders would be meeting the vice-chancellor soon, seeking withdrawal of the new hair style and removal of the college principal.

But the principal Raman Sinha said the decision by a committee formed over the issue. “Some students were unnecessarily creating a fuss over the issue. The decision about the dress code has already been taken and girls will have to strictly follow it,” the principal said. The college which was set up in 1949 is one of the premier educational institutes for girls in Bhagalpur and is known for enforcing discipline.

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