Skinny jeans, T-shirts and other Western fashions have rapidly grown in popularity among young Indians, spreading from cities to rural states such as Haryana, though many older people disapprove of such clothes.—AFP Photo

NEW DELHI: An Indian college announced on Monday it had banned girls from wearing jeans, short dresses and T-shirts to crack down on sexual harassment, sparking outrage from pupils and rights campaigners.

The Adarsh Women’s College in Haryana state, 70 miles west of New Delhi, said students would be fined 100 rupees (1.8 dollars) each time they broke the dress code.

“We have imposed a ban on jeans and T-shirts because these are completely Westernised and (so) are short dresses,” school head Alaka Sharma told the NDTV news channel.

“The small dresses don’t cover students and that is the reason why they have to face eve-teasing.”

“Eve-teasing” is a common phrase used in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan to cover offences ranging from verbal abuse to sexual assault, though it is often criticised as a euphemism that hides serious crime.

“Jeans and short tops invite attraction and also distract the students,” Sharma said in a separate interview.

Skinny jeans, T-shirts and other Western fashions have rapidly grown in popularity among young Indians, spreading from cities to rural states such as Haryana, though many older people disapprove of such clothes.

Pupils at the Adarsh college, which teaches girls between 16 and 19, complained that they were being punished unfairly instead of being protected from harassment.

“A ban on wearing jeans and T-shirts doesn’t mean that there will be no crimes and boys will not pass lewd comments on you,” Ritu, a college student, said.

“Men who want to eve-tease can do it if a girl has donned Indian clothes also. I don’t think dressing in Indian attire will bring a change.”

Mamata Sharma, head of the National Commission of Women, told reporters that sexual harassment in India could not be tackled by ordering girls to wear saris and other traditional styles of dress.

“Our country is progressing, we have entered into 21st century and it is very disappointing to hear or see such things,” she told reporters.

“The government should take action against the college management or such institutions who impose diktats on girls.”

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Comments (47)

December 11, 2012 12:48 am
India is reacting to one world order i..e one culture for the whole world... Western These teachers wish to hold on to their culture and identity. Any time a nation wears someone Else's dress it is enslaved, I don't say that Romans did it to the British and British did to the Native Americans... It is time for us to celebrate diversity not stifle it. Being a 20th century person doesn't mean being Western.
December 11, 2012 8:30 am
excellent move, sure give education to both genders but make them dress properly. We go to school to learn, not look at assets
December 11, 2012 3:11 pm
:-) ! There are better things to follow Brother! Would not like even my not so friendly neighbors to learn this from us !! Its a shame !!
December 11, 2012 3:09 pm
In these matters, You outshine us !! Always ;-)
Saad (DXB)
December 12, 2012 3:35 pm
Because unlike India, sexual harassment is not considered a normal part of the society and not treated as a misdemeanor or completely overlooked by authorities
December 11, 2012 9:23 pm
That is the worst example to prove a point I have ever read.
suresh shenoy
December 11, 2012 5:33 am
Well I don't mind, teachers of Adarsh College serving in Pakistan,given a chance. But I am concerned about the destruction of Girl's School in Swat by the Taliban. More then 300 schools were the Taliban who are against Girls Education.At the same time I salute Miss Malala,the young girl who stood bravely against the Taliban & their ideology despite facing a bullet injury. Hats off to Malala & her family. May God Bless her Suresh - Mumbai(Bombay)
December 11, 2012 3:14 pm
have a headache ? Why only head? isn't it a part of your body? call it body-ache !! ;-)
December 11, 2012 4:03 am
I see nothing wrong in college's statement. Most of Haryana is a rural and people follow traditional and simple life style. This Bollywood & pop culture is not doing any good to social fabric. Students irrespective of gender should be in decent attire. Colleges are for education not for modeling
December 11, 2012 4:12 am
They should then ban shorts and t-shirts for all the boys as well. This is the justice in my country... punish those who can be punished , not the ones who are actually guilty. All rules are made for subjugating women in the name of protecting them... it is ridiculous. Some students at the college should take these idiots to court for suppressing their right to freedom of expression.
December 11, 2012 3:29 am
Secular and shining India :)
December 11, 2012 3:07 am
College is modest place where the primary objective is to learn and not to promote fashion. A balance can be created between the college objectives and how the girls want to dress up. College administration has the right to control.
Saad (DXB)
December 12, 2012 3:38 pm
Which decade was that? Have you seen the Turkish PM's wife? She wears hijab.. In the recent years the country has allowed women to wear hijab, which was something banned under the military rule aka military installed PMs
December 10, 2012 11:14 pm
Wonderful, what a solution, hope it works. It is just similar to the situation, that when in water with friend, and shark attacks you. You shoot the friend instead of the shark, and hope you would swim out of the trouble, while the shark is busy eating your friend. I like the solution. -;)
December 13, 2012 11:44 am
What EXACTLY is your point?...the rules in Turkey AGAINST headscarves have been RELAXED...but not entirely done away with...some Universities still ban use of head scarves.
Resham Sethi
December 11, 2012 1:32 pm
Now this is freedom of thought and progressive thinking
Mustafa Razavi
December 10, 2012 7:04 pm
Sue Sturgess; "Colleges who try to tell women what to wear will soon be out of business." I don't think all the colleges in France are out of business, they do tell their students not to wear hijab.
Naveen Kumar
December 11, 2012 1:27 pm
Yes Secular Indeed! Traditional attire includes Salwar Kameej, Sari, Burqa and so on. The real Problem with the decision is the Gender biasedness , irrationality , and not religion. Only women are being asked to do so while Men can very well go around in the Western attires and it is being expected that such an act will bring down cases of sexual harassment for which there exists no scientific proof.
December 11, 2012 1:21 pm
its nice.. we must like for other that we want for our family.
December 10, 2012 5:44 pm
Where did Pakistan come in between, from this news? LOL Personally, its just foolish of that indian college to force students on what to wear and what not. It seems like they r going backwards in time.
December 11, 2012 6:53 pm
A person makes a statement with his/her dress. People who bare their bodies are inviting attention. You play with fire, you get burned.
umair khan
December 10, 2012 5:29 pm
we must follow this indian example
Dr Shaaz Mahboob
December 10, 2012 5:17 pm
Next stop... Burqa for all!
December 12, 2012 5:55 pm
Time to move from religious values to secular values?!
December 13, 2012 3:37 pm
In South Indian colleges Jeans and Tees were banned since long ago for both Men and Women. But Women can wear salwar, fancy slippers and latest fashion. Men are not allowed to wear anything other than full sleeve shirts, shoes (compulsory) and formal pants.
Magister Ludi
December 11, 2012 2:45 pm
Great. Fantastic. Wonderful. Schools are for education NOT for fashion show! Agreed?
December 11, 2012 11:16 pm
There are things Indian-secularism,education,government support for fundamental research,emphasis on higher education-Pakistan will do well to emulate them. As for this particular thing-definitely NO!
Tanveer Mahmood
December 10, 2012 2:42 pm
Yes but being progressive doesnt mean you should walk half naked in college campuses wearing shorts and revealing clothes, people are trying to follow the western culture blindly. The dress code should be applied in all colleges and universities of India.
December 11, 2012 10:47 pm
I don't think it is likely to happen in Mumbai or Delhi or Kalkutta or Chennai! or Goa? There are areas in India which are more in tune with times and there are areas in darkness...
December 11, 2012 10:52 pm
Head scarves are banned in Turkey too...and if I am right and remember right in Bosnia too!
December 11, 2012 10:59 pm
Predators in the wild mark an animal that is DIFFERENT in a herd for hunting. A pregnant one with an awkward gait,an old one,or a sick one not keeping up with the herd. It seems to me that human predators look for that DIFFERENT not dressed according to the "NORM". "Norms" must not be set or ENFORCED BY PREDATORS! Religious diktats or footloose men to enforce them!
December 10, 2012 2:17 pm
Very regressive,,,,,,Haryana is awful when it comes to treatment of women!
December 10, 2012 1:58 pm
Another case of punishing the victim. Why not put in female cops to find the eve teasers and emasculate them? Truly disgusting!!!
December 12, 2012 7:49 am
I wonder why there is never any regulation with respect to men's clothing or their behaviour? The focus is always on regulating the women's bodies. In the instant case, instead of regulating women's clothing, why can't the eve-teasers be put to task? We South Asians are generally hypocrites in these matters. In our male dominated societies, while the girls are conditioned to look modest, boys are encouraged to flirt and ogle. Boys should also be trained to respect others.
Sue Sturgess
December 10, 2012 1:43 pm
Colleges who try to tell women what to wear willl soon be out of business.
anwar kamal
December 12, 2012 10:24 am
Why not ban in the film ?
Sue Sturgess
December 12, 2012 2:32 am
When are men going to stop blaming women for their own lack of self control? Just because a woman looks sexually attractive, does not mean every man in sight loses his self control. The answer is not to make the women look less attractive. The answer is for men to behave better!
Sue Sturgess
December 12, 2012 2:35 am
The number of Indian women wanting to wear jeans, far outweighs the number of French women wanting to wear hijabs and will have greater impact.
Sue Sturgess
December 12, 2012 2:35 am
yes - the sooner men start wearing burquas the better!
Sue Sturgess
December 12, 2012 2:38 am
If they have a problem with jeans & T shirts, why ban it only for the women? Why not the men too?
Muhammad Asif
December 12, 2012 4:42 am
I'm glad you mentioned headache, it made my argument stronger. When you have headache, all of your body suffers, and usually is is a signal of tiredness. Whole of your body de synch with the brain (the core) and is not willing to work.
Agha Ata
December 10, 2012 1:20 pm
The teachers of this college should be serving in Pakistan. We need a lot of such men who hold the bull by the tail (as a writer described in one of the articles in this issue of "Dawn". They should immediately send their resumes to our Interior Minister.
December 12, 2012 2:49 pm
Oh yes they do. Ask the Toronto Police.
Muhammad Asif
December 11, 2012 8:04 am
Why only haryana? isn't it part of Inida?
Muhammad Asif
December 11, 2012 8:05 am
it isn't Pakistan, it's a reader who hails from Pakistan.
December 12, 2012 8:53 am
nice effort. ISLAM also teach this lesson. Women Completely cover themselves, because they have very important and respected position in the society.
December 12, 2012 9:21 am
I live in Ontario myself.How come Canadian women don't get "burnt" may I know?
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