news Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 05:30
Sameera Ahmed | The News Minute | February 07, 2015 | 10.20 am IST From rounds that include college boys flaunting beach wear to girls owning the ethnic look, fashion shows are the most awaited events of almost all cultural programmes organised by colleges in the city. Couples walk together, some break out into a dance, the best and most entertaining are crowned ‘Mr and Ms’ of the event, providing a fitting end to a jam-packed weekend of cultural activity at universities. However, a recent direction by the Madras High court to the Tamil Nadu state government may soon mean the end of such events. Expressing his concern against holding such events (beauty contest), Justice TS Sivagnanam of the Madras High Court hearing a petition directed the government to issue a circular to all institutions and deemed Universities banning them from holding any such beauty events that would decide best looking male/females. “I don’t agree . I think it’s a harsh statement to come from the court” said actor and Congress member, Khushboo. Wherever fashion shows have been held, colleges have made sure that they are done very much within the lines of decency. I don't understand why they should be banned, she said. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, she told The News Minute pointing out the obvious. Explaining that a fashion show is not just about walking the ramp, she said that there were many other activities involved, like organising. “There are so many different things other than just a fashion show,” she said . “You also need something for children to build their confidence, something that helps them to be independent, she said expressing the necessity for such events. Justice TS Sivagnanam had made the decision in response to a petitioner who called for a direction to the organisers of Anna University’s ‘Techofes 2013’ to award her daughter all prizes as assured for winning the event. Not only did the petitioner demand those responsible to award her daughter the prizes as promised, she also demanded a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh as compensation for violation of her daughter's fundamental rights “relating to dignity, decency and decorum of her daughter by way of degrading treatment and thereby spoiling her moral values”, reported New Indian Express. An interim order which comes in effect immediately essentially disallows educational institutions from conducting such shows until February 20 - the day of the hearing for the case. For Anna University, the order is doubly important considering the upcoming Techofes’15 - in which the fashion show programme is included. While regular fashion shows require groups from different colleges to take part in different rounds, alternate varieties expect solo participants to entertain the audiences through their different talents. “On the face of it, it seems like an unnecessary intervention”, by the court said Sudha Ramalaingam senior lawyer. However, agreeing that such events served no academic purpose, she said that more than the call for a ban, the bigger picture of intrusion by corporates within educational institutions must be examined. Earlier events were only held within colleges, between students. However, now, its all sponsored by some corporate or the other dealing with consumer durables which is causing an intrusion of corporate activity, she said. “Entire ambit of fashion of consumerism have taken on the campuses so much that even ordinary things are interfered by the judiciary, “ she said.“I there is an aggression or an intrusion by corporates in educational activities ,” she said. Even in the case of the Anna University event, which involves a few lakhs, you have to first differentiate between academic activity and corporate activity , she said. According to the petitioner, prizes worth Rs. 25lakh were promised to the winner by the Students Association and Arts Society (SAAS) of the Engineering College, the organiser of the TECHOFES. Attempts to contact SAAS went unanswered. Directing the respondents in the case which included the Dean of Central Engineering College and the event organiser to file their counter-affidavits, the judge expressed his concerns against holding an event in a century-old engineering college, said the report.  Photo credits: Nikhil Viswanath.B Read Forget ban on fashion shows, is crores of rupees spent on college culturals opportunistic, unhealthy Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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