23 August, 2014 / Shawwal 26, 1435

Rigid mindset: Dress code at Nust

Published Sep 26, 2013 07:03am

EVEN in the middle of the death and mayhem that struck Pakistan over the past few days, the news about the National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, fining students for what they wore has raised eyebrows. It shocked because dress codes at universities — though they exist in Pakistan and even at some places in the West — are controversial. Universities generally are expected to offer far more freedom to students than schools. Partly this is because it is universally accepted that those attending universities are young adults who are about to enter practical life, and secondly, because unlike schools, institutes of higher edu-cation are also supposed to encourage original thought. And it is generally accepted that free thought flourishes in the opposite of a regimented lifestyle. In a lighter vein, there is after all a reason why the popular story of how Isaac Newton discovered gravity involves him having bunked school and whiling away his time watching an apple fall from a tree.

But sadly universities in Pakistan do not aim for these goals. And with many managements hiring former military officials because they are seen as effective administrators, universities are focused on regimentation and not research and higher learning. (Nust too is known to be run by former military men.) This is the message that Nust is sending to the world and to Pakistan. Surely, a university should have better goals than monitoring its female students’ clothes. Even if for some inexplicable reason the university management felt the need to regulate what students wear, there is no need to publicly display their names and ‘offence’. Such public displays of morality will only lead to bad publicity and strengthen the perception that right-wing views are prevalent in Pakistan. Is this what Nust wants?

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Comments (31) (Closed)


BRR
Sep 26, 2013 08:56am

So much for Sciences and Technology, the scientists seem more willing to victimize students than in conducting research.

What brilliant minds indeed.

NY
Sep 26, 2013 09:30am

i disagree... the time has come when universities either should implement a dress code, its getting out of the way.

naveed
Sep 26, 2013 09:49am

every place has a dress code which has to be observed. this is no newspaper stuff, don't u have a higher calling?

SFB
Sep 26, 2013 10:30am

NUST is one of the best institutes country wide, please stop defaming it. Though i don't appreciate forcing anyone to wear or not wear a dupatta but when an institute has a set of policies for dress codes then students and their parents should roll in only if they agree to those policies. NUST has always had a uniform policy, no wonder, its run by former military officials. The dress code is mentioned in their code of conduct "http://www.nust.edu.pk/Campus-Life/Student-Affairs/Pages/Policies-Procedures.aspx" And about the advancement in research,, please mind having some more knowledge of anything before you start a pointless debate. NUST was recognized as one of the top 500 universities in the world in 2012 and was ranked the highest in general categories of universities in 2013. You are spoiling the image of one of our (Pakistan's) best universities world wide. If anyone does not like wearing a specified dress code then they have other good options to roll in. To the students and researchers who are worried that shalwar kameez might stop them from prospering in their fields.,, please don't. You don't need to be worried about that if you are focused to your goals, no power an stop you from learning and prospering if you are determined. So the loosers might say that the dress code is stoping us but those who are meant to make a difference to Pakistan just don't care much about minor problems like dress codes.

And oh did you say newton had bunked his class when he discovered the gravity law?? Please do share the source from where you got that.

S.M.Shabbir
Sep 26, 2013 11:54am

NUST remain hostage of the mindset which is narrowed and intolerable . It will better if the management can get rid of its present mind set , and spend time to read about the social and cultural values which must flourished under the umbrella of a vibrant University . Learn from the top Universities of the World about the art of cultivating aesthetic beauty, tolerance and difference acceptance .

imran
Sep 26, 2013 12:48pm

Good Job by the management.

Naveed Soomro
Sep 26, 2013 01:26pm

Recently published news about NUST shows that students are not contented with this change. Even some students have remarked on social networks as “There is a separate cafe which boys can go to after 5 and separate cafe for girls….. Hide conversation” and “Wow.. never had an idea Nust was the Taliban markaz.. thank God I didn’t submit fee there.” While passing through these lines although I didn’t much flabbergast since it has been included in our routine matters but the outrageous factor is a few questions upon which I would be seeking the help of generous readers. Prior to this, I would like to clarify the “women” in upcoming lines would mean specially those Muslim women who are inspired by showbiz media, western outfits and living style. The questions follow: Are we Muslims? Is our state an Islamic Republic? Does the preamble of our Constitution embody the name of Almighty? Should we submit our admission fee after scrutinizing the number of girls’ students and level of freedom and obscenity in certain institute? As sons, brothers and husbands should we allow our mothers, sisters and wives to wear jeans and tights? Do women look well-dressed, modest, dignified and sober in jeans, tights and other immodest dress, which mostly they prefer? Is it more favorable for a Muslim woman to follow Angelina Julie, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta Jones etc., or to follow Hazrat Khadija R.A, Hazrat Ayesha R.A and Hazrat Fatima R.A? The final one follows, after performing like Mahnoor Baloch in her recent movie, intimate drama scenes on private T.V channels, female news-anchors wearing ravishing dress without duppatta and daring steps taken by Anita Ayub and Komal Rizvi in past and Meera and Veena Malik in near past, what is the culmination of so-called “women rights” in our Islamic society? Do they want still ahead of this?
It would also be welcomed if someone mentions whether restrictions on adopting jeans culture by a Muslim woman and sitting of male and female students side by side in libraries, canteens and cafes manifest NUST or other institutions a Taliban markaz or solely an Islamic issue? I would always appreciate few steps taken by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq regarding freedom of women. Ironically, after his demise the indigenous T.V channels started depicting male and female lying on a bed as they were real husband and wife.
Extremism is dangerous for society but modernism should also not transgress our Islamic values.

Shafiq janjua
Sep 26, 2013 01:45pm

this column is written by somebody who is against military type management. I agree and wish to implement even some better systems in our civilian institutions. But, i strongly support NUST management for the dress code they are trying to follow for the students(particularly for girls). what is freedom and liberty stands for? wearing jeans and running in university without duppata is not any freedom which will make us proud to follow with. We must teach our daughters to take care and use a dress which should not attract opposite sex beyond respectful values. We must try to protect our daughters against sexual harassment. We must not compare our universities with western universities when discussing dress codes. It will be unfair to mention result of dress code in west. You can just see the high percentage of single mothers and unmarried couples who are living together like husband/wife which is result of extra freedom there.

Nadia
Sep 26, 2013 01:50pm

All the good educational institutions in the world have dress codes.The Dress Code is based on the theory that learning to use socially acceptable manners and selecting attire appropriate to specific occasions and activities are critical factors in the total educational process. Understanding and employing these behaviors not only improves the quality of one's life, but also contributes to optimum morale, as well as embellishes the overall campus image. They also play a major role in instilling a sense of integrity and an appreciation for values and ethics.

Shoaib
Sep 26, 2013 02:04pm

If a university is run by army what elso could you expect, many othre restrictions student face in NUST contrary to the concept promoting freedom of thought.

Haroon Tariq
Sep 26, 2013 02:26pm

Who ever wrote this, must be ashamed of himself for his cheap thinking. Why do you people always think negative. I am very sad for a person living in Pakistan talks like this on just banning the tight jeans and making it compulsory to wear duppatta. I am student of NUST and it is very good move from NUST administration to confirming a dress code. Media should find flaws in education and knowledge distribution system of institutes instead of wasting there time in producing negative agendas against Pakistan and their institutes.

Muhammad Zohaib Shehzad
Sep 26, 2013 04:03pm

Wow, each sentence literally hitting them (NUST) hard!! Let me remind, (though I m not their advocate) we live in islamabad, Pakistan NOT Los Angeles, California. We need to get out of our imaginative western culture (created by american fashion magazines and hollywood) and jump back into Pakistani Culture, embracing the reality.

j2003
Sep 26, 2013 04:23pm

An ill intended and unprofessional article by 'dawn' again. How can it not mention that out of so many campuses at NUST, only few have dress code. And that too for training purpose like in business school for having management students. And dress code there is for both genders and not only females. Stop posting such baseless articles and the 'educated' readers who start to express their thoughts without knowing any fact should grow up.

Khanm
Sep 26, 2013 04:38pm

Let there be no compulsion in religion and force upon my codes of morality. Folks; Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, and that is everlasting

shafiq khan
Sep 26, 2013 05:23pm

"As sons, brothers and husbands should we allow our mothers, sisters and wives to wear jeans and tights? Do women look well-dressed, modest, dignified and sober in jeans, tights and other immodest dress, which mostly they prefer?" Your assumptions are not the law of decency or modesty. Perhaps you need to look at your Islam! There is no distinction in men and women in the holy book where "modesty" is mentioned.

The word "ALLOW" is the operative one. Who are you to allow or not to allow the other equal human beings to do one thing or the other?

javeria Abbas
Sep 26, 2013 05:53pm

NUST represents Pakistan in a manner that most universities never have done! the excellence that NUST has shown is exceptional, that was never in the lime light. CAN I ASK WHY? the media , whatso ever it may b, electronic, print etc. should carry out their responsibility in a genuine manner. I am a student at NUST, im living there , so i have a better idea of the insights and rules and regulations as well. NUST offer all the rights to students in every possible manner. It is one of the best universities of Pakistan, and the only university in Pakistan that is is international ranking. it aims at educating and enlightening the minds of the students, making them a better human being in every sense and a responsible Pakistani. THIS IS WHAT NUST WANTS! media should confirm the rumors and highlight the things only to the extent that they are worthy of. The NUSTIANS are serving all over the world in the top institutions and companies and representing Pakistan in an excellent manner. This is what NUST wants.

I AM A NUSTIAN AND I AM BLESSED AND PROUD TO BE A PART OF IT!

Farhan
Sep 26, 2013 06:07pm

@naveed: Moral policing at what is supposed to be one of the finer universities of Pakistan is certainly worth an editorial. Enlightenment, which is the goal of education, is the highest calling of all.

Amina Khalid
Sep 26, 2013 06:21pm

It shows your mindset, how our own country portrays the news, manipulate in such a manner that even the neighboring country starts enjoying and making it even worst to read. First you should know what rules are. Those who were fined were business students, and it is for their own good they are not supposed to do informal dressing this platform not only gives them the finest education but also tells them what dress code is best for the particular study, no other university does that. Instead of feeling proud that Pakistan has one internationally recognized university you people are molding it in such a manner that has now exceeded all the limits. I always used to say media is not a trustworthy source and now you have proved it that the only duty you consider you have is to make the conditions difficult to sustain. Its not the university but biased people like you who act as an obstacles in development of our country. A proud Nustian

hyder
Sep 26, 2013 07:08pm

in fact this editorial is about publicity of the offence and heading is totally wrong but good way to attract attention from larger audience. i agree there should be dress code for student you are going to university not fashion show that you go without dupatta and wear jeans

MA
Sep 26, 2013 09:35pm

@Naveed Soomro: Islam does not say Shalwar is the way to heaven.In addition Even the Prophet PBUH was told that it was not his job to change peoples hearts,only to inform them.Wake up and let people learn!

Life
Sep 26, 2013 10:21pm

I am partially agreed however there was no need to write an editorial on administrative issues of a university. This is just like taking suo moto notices every here and often. The messages going to the west from Pakistan are of such a magnitude that this petty issue does not make any ripple in any quarter. Dress code has nothing to do with peace and prosperity in Pakistan which is the most important issue to write and discuss.

Naeem
Sep 26, 2013 10:32pm

I am tired of all those that wear Islam on their sleeves. If we all follow Islam why is it that Pakistan is one of the most corrupt country in the world. We have to build the muslim character instead of focusing on irrelivent aspects. Why is so important to always be worried about women and their looks.

RK
Sep 26, 2013 11:11pm

Height of hypocrisy: Western dress is banned while going to college to study western education. So it is always that the female have to stick to a dress code not men? While men flaunt the western cell phone/watch/belt/shoes/clothes etc. Where is the logic? And if one of the best institution is doing, not very late rest will follow. Lo kar lo baat!

Qidwai, Khi
Sep 26, 2013 11:25pm

Though even these steps are appreciable but the root cause of the problem is co-education which needs to be abolished from all schools and educational institutions including offices, workplaces etc

Ahmed Abdullah
Sep 27, 2013 02:03am

It is a pointless debate. Each country and the nation is recognized by its indigenous value system and the culture. We can not be the west and we don't need be that either. What we must do is to have a dress for males and females consistent with our social values which is good enough to make them look decent and respectable. If NUST dress code provides for that elegance and balance, it is must be respected. I am parent of a NUST female student and find NUST dress code for women brilliant. We must appreciate that our sons and daughters go to universities not for fashion parades but for learning which is a serious business. A disciplined environment supports better learning which remain beneficial for all.

Zubia
Sep 27, 2013 03:44am

Thank you Mr. Editor for your editorial. Its a breath of fresh air. The problem in NUST is not the young women, but the old men who seem unable to control their lust. As usual, Islam is the fig-leaf. Maybe if these old faujis focused on educating the students and not ogling them, they might produce graduates who can write in English ala Naveed Soomro and Shafiq Janjua. Seems you were so busy ogling girls, you failed to learn to write. Gentlemen, your comments say more about you than the girls in jeans.

Ali Minhas
Sep 27, 2013 04:22am

There is nothing, known to be as Nust. It's NUST. And a piece of advice, before writing about someone or something, least what you should do is to consider both sides and not be biased, knowing facts of single side, and portraying it is a sole truth. Please, get your facts right at first, then criticize, if you must have to.

Manzoor
Sep 27, 2013 04:43am

So what kind of dress code the newspaper suggests - that of nudity? Why are we worried about negative publicity? The newspaper needs to change its mindset. Right and left hardly matters these days.

Omer
Sep 27, 2013 08:14am

Even some Western universities have dress code. What is the problem with it? I didn't see any such response when Hijab was banned in France and Germany. Does the Dawn management has problem only with encouraging/enforcing our own culture? Come on guys, stop this appeasing policy towards Pakistan bashers. Print Media, like our electronic media, also needs to grow.

Khanm
Sep 27, 2013 09:59am

Time to move on. Is our life revolve around women. What they wear. What they should not. There are grave issues Pakistan is facing. Let us not be the self righteous. Those girls who are wearing jeans are out front. What is happening behind the curtain far more unislamic which is never revealed to public. For God sake don't waste time on trivial issues

Shafiq janjua
Sep 29, 2013 02:08pm

this column is written by somebody who is against military type management. I agree and wish to implement even some better systems in our civilian institutions. But, i strongly support NUST management for the dress code they are trying to follow for the students(particularly for girls). what is freedom and liberty stands for? wearing jeans and running in university without duppata is not any freedom which will make us proud to follow with. We must teach our daughters to take care and use a dress which should not attract opposite sex beyond respectful values. We must try to protect our daughters against sexual harassment. We must not compare our universities with western universities when discussing dress codes. It will be unfair to mention result of dress code in west. You can just see the high percentage of single mothers and unmarried couples who are living together like husband/wife which is result of extra freedom there