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Girls wearing jeans sent home by Sikh college
« on: November 27, 2010, 06:31:42 AM »
CHANDIGARH - March 18: In a rather disturbing reminder of the dress codes forced on women by Khalistani terrorists in the 1980s, authorities in educational institutions run by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee are similarly advising girl students wearing jeans or sleeveless shirts to "go home and change".

Though the gurdwara body does not have any written rule on the matter, its employees in schools and colleges across Punjab insist hip-hugging denims and bare female arms are too provocative and liable to distract male teachers and students. There have been many recent instances at Ludhiana's highly-sought-after Guru Nanak Engineering College, where women students were turned out of classrooms and told to stay away unless they went home and changed into "more respectable attire".

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar actually acknowledges the unwritten rule. "We discourage girls from wearing anything other than the usual salwar kameez because Sikh religion doesn't permit dresses like jeans, pants or other similar wear."

But he insists that no one has been turned away for refusing to adhere. "There is no order against jeans. Our people only suggest and persuade students to do the right thing," he told this newspaper.

GNEC principal M.S. Saini claims he wouldn't allow even his "own daughter" to sport such clothes. "I would tell her that we should only wear something that is accordance with people around us so we can be a part of the crowd. Else we would attract avoidable attention," he said, admitting he had instructed his staff to keep a check on woman students in sleeveless shirts and jeans.

But some feisty young students are indignant. "Jeans are like a uniform for young people across the world but these old fogies find them provocative but they remain unruffled with all the terrible swearing and gang fights the boys get into," said one student who wouldn't give out her name "because they (the college authorities) could harass me".

Sikh scholars point out that dress codes based on religion are ridiculous and an unacceptable violation of personal freedoms. "There were no jeans in the times of the Gurus so how could have they have forbidden Sikh women from wearing these?" said the Ludhiana-based Dr Balkar Singh.

"The Taliban are only a few hundred kilometres away in Pakistan. Do we want to pave their path into East Punjab?" said a concerned faculty member

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