Yesterday, we were discussing a premier educational institution in Bangalore and its ridiculous rules about dressing.
It is so ironic that an educational institution, of all the places, should be prescribing and enforcing such absurd, rigid rules. Yes, we understand college students are nothing but bundles of raging hormones, and the slightest show of skin or fitted clothes will set them off on sexual rampages. We understand what a distraction it can be, and how important it is to set aside all distractions and concentrate on the goal, which is getting 99.99999% so that you can go on to become a doctor or engineer or lawyer.
The lesson that is being imparted here is a lesson on control. How to make up absurd rules, instil a quaking fear, and thereby completely control another person. Sound familiar? Tradition is another name, closely followed by Indian culture.
Is this the lesson we want our youth to imbibe? How about having classes where both sexes are taught to perceive and respect each other as human beings, and not just two things on top or one thing below? How about making dress completely irrelevant? How about teaching substance over style?
The lessons that the kids take away are powerful. They learn that “decency” has nothing to do with behaviour, it is all to do with the way you dress. (If you dress “indecently”, hey, you asked for trouble). They learn that discipline does not mean self-control, it does not come from within; it means fearing a whipping, it means something imposed from out there.
And we wonder why our country is in such a state!
The educational institute is playing a nasty game. If it was so worried, it could have just imposed a uniform on its students — that would have at least been fair-play. No, it wants its students to have the illusion of freedom, but with all the control in its hands.
Perhaps that’s the way of teaching that life isn’t fair! Many will be punished for the (possible) sins of a few. But covering up bad apples won’t solve the problem, it will just make it easier for them to spread the rot.