Students of the Government Degree College Baramulla are irked by ‘moral policing’ of the disciplinary authorities of the college that has come out with the list of ‘Dos and Don’ts for students’.
The list directs male and female students not to ‘remain in any objectionable position’ and also asked girls not to carry any objectionable items their purses.
Moreover, “the menial workers in the college have been empowered so much that they dictate the female faculty members as to what they should wear and what not.”
According to the sources from the campus, the atmosphere inside the college has been tense for quite some time now. The co-educational college supposed to accept and impart knowledge to mature male and female students together has been in existence since 1943.
However, the sources told Free Press Kashmir that the system is too harsh for the students as they are questioned even if they are working on assignments together assigned by the faculty members.
“The students are mature. There is a time when you can discipline a child. After that, you ought to let them be and decide for themselves. You cannot ask a college student to comb his/ her hair a certain way or something like that,” said an insider from the campus adding that “even when the students are working on an assignment, the Principal questions them and pressurizes the faculty to ‘discipline’ them.”
“The students are there to learn and not be taught how to stay around their opposite genders. That thing, they learn in schools. On this pretext, the students, as well as the faculty, is feeling irritated,” they said informing that if the students of opposite genders walk together or go to the canteen together, they are questioned.
“They see everything through a dirty prism. If even in this age, the youth is suppressed, when will they grow?” questioned the sources.
The “Dos and Do Not’s” have been issued by the ‘Disciplinary committee’ on the basis of “what they had seen in the college.” The list was shared online where it received appreciation as well as criticism.
Speaking to Free Press Kashmir, the principal of the college Fazal u Rehman Beigh said, “There is co-education in the college. It is just to give the students a sense of discipline. We try to restrict them. We have some sports facilities which are open to the public. We have to keep that in view as well. The list has been issued by the disciplinary committee on the basis of what we have noticed was happening in the college.”
“I know they are adults. Whenever there is an outdoor assignment, there is always a teacher with them. Sometimes you have to exaggerate things to at least get the minimum out of the students,” he added.
“It was just to remove the distractions and discipline them. There is no suppression or coercion here,” he said.
The Nodal Principal Amar Singh College said that she will ask officials to check what the list is about and then talk to the authorities.
Pertinently, the policing is not limited to the students. Even the faculty members pass through the gates with the strong gaze of gatekeepers staring at them. While the staff in Hijab or Abaya; covered from head to toe is let go. Sometimes, the gatekeepers take the charge of policing the faculty members who are ‘not covered’.
Sharing her experience on condition of anonymity, an Ex-faculty member said, “I don’t cover my head. One day, the gatekeeper stopped me and lectured me about wearing clothes and asked me to cover myself from head to toe.”
He did not stop there, she said. “He told me he knows how to make things work if I chose to dress the way I did,” she said adding that she could not lodge a complaint with the authorities as it was the day before summer vacations in 2017.
“They don’t even spare the faculty, what do you think they will do to the students?” she asked.