Patna: Patna’s J.D. Women’s College has banned burqa on its campus and said those found wearing it will be fined.
In a notice issued Thursday, the college administration said students wearing burqa will be fined Rs 250.
College principal Dr Shyama Roy defended the notice, saying: “There is nothing new in the order. It is aimed at imposing the college dress code, which is salwar-kameez and dupatta. The dress code is aimed at bringing uniformity on the college campus.”
She said the college dress code has existed for over 7 years.
“It is only when the dress code is violated that we come out with such notices. I have told my Muslim students that they can come in a burqa till the gates of the college. But once they enter college, they will have to take it off and keep it in their bags,” she told ThePrint.
Roy also said certain elements are trying to misinterpret the move.
‘Notice will create hurdles for Muslim girls’
A Muslim student studying in the college, who doesn’t want to be named, told ThePrint: “I do not understand the inconvenience I cause on campus. Keeping the burqa in the bag is causing me inconvenience.”
Located in Bailey Road, J.D. Women’s College is the third most preferred college of female students in the Bihar capital after Patna Women’s College and Magadh Mahila College. The college doesn’t have a student union.
Maulana Shakil Qasmi, a teacher in Gaya’s Oriental College, said the notice will create hurdles for Muslim girls who are going to colleges.
“The ratio of Muslim girls going to colleges is already low. The college should have focused on ensuring that more girls from the minority community come to its campus,” he added.
It’s a Talibani order, says RJD
The RJD, meanwhile, said it’s a “Talibani order” and demanded that the college withdraw the notice.
“It is a Talibani order. There should be a ban on objectionable clothes but there is nothing wrong in burqa or kurta-pajama. We demand that the college withdraw its notice,” said RJD legislator Bhai Birendar.
He alleged that authorities in the state have been encouraged to issue such orders hurting the sentiments of the minorities after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar made it clear that he will remain with the BJP and support the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The ruling JD(U), however, rubbished the charge.
“The college decides on dress codes, not the state government,” said JD(U) minister Neeraj Kumar, adding that the RJD was trying to blow up a “non-issue”.
But some JD(U) leaders ThePrint spoke to said on the condition of anonymity that the college shouldn’t have issued such a notice at a time when Bihar is seeing protests against the CAA and the National Register of Citizens, both of which are considered discriminatory against the Muslims.