The adjective ‘Provocative’ is a variable of time, space, and culture. What appears provocative today may not appear provocative after some years. To say that jeans, T-shirts, sleeveless tops and tight fitting outfits are provocative and detract students from academics is wrong. If these outfits detract students, how come students in western universities inspite of such dresses excel in academics!
DEVIL IN THE DRESS
The new dress code issued by Anna University prohibiting jeans, T-shirts, sleeveless tops and tight fitting outfits has raised a hell among the so-called progressive elements. The order has been slammed as narrow-minded, illiberal, irrational and various aspersions are being cast on the intention of the authorities in issuing such an order. The dissenters are in no mood to relent and the issue seems likely to be drawn to the court.
Is it mark of a healthy society that every now and then, matters are referred to the court? Isn’t it possible to resolve the differences among us through open discourse without involving the state? Heterogeneity of opinion has been a characteristics of Indian tradition and it must exist for the sake of a vigorous society. In fact, early Indian thinkers were the first to use the method of ‘Dialectical Reasoning’ to arrive at truth. In keeping with that ground tradition, we must arrive at decisions through dialogue and debates and the platform for such dialogues should be civil society, not state. And media is the most important institution of public dialogue.
Public issues of such wider dimension that touches ever member of a society as that of the order issued by Anna University should not be left to be decided in the closed chamber of the court and court should remain only as a last resort of arriving at decision. Dialogue will not be possible if we outrightly reject the order as hollow without examining it. Therefore, we must make an unbiased perusal of...