‘Kerala Muslim women's college bans tight jeans, short tops, permits head scarf' 'Kerala: Muslim women's college bans jeans, tops' These were headlines in the last few days in the English media, some Malayalam media houses too reported in the same vein. The discussions around the dress code implemented by the women’s college under Muslim Education Society (MES) in Kozhikode, revolved around declarations that the college had banned purdah, tight jeans, short tops and permitted head scarfs. The highlight was of course that it was a ‘Muslim’ college and had courted controversy in 2014 too. MES state president Dr P A Fazal Gafoor in 2014 had said that purdah was not a suitable dress as it blocks sunlight entering the body. So did MES ban purdah, jeans and top? That is simply a deliberate and mischievous way to look at things. The college has introduced a uniform for first degree students and asked all others to wear salwar kameez to class. The logic is that from this year on, students will have uniform, but in order to avoid burdening the second years and third years, the college simply asked them to stick to salwar kameez. None of the three notices issued by the college make any mention of the purdah or uses the word ban. “No student usually wears purdah inside class, so we did not mention anything about it in dress code. But when we impose a uniform, obviously everyone should be uniformly dressed,” says college principal B Seetha Lakshmi. She also adds, “If they want they can wear purdah till they reach the classrooms and then they can switch to their college uniform.” The statement in the circular regarding the dress restrictions says “they shall not wear immodest dress, sleeveless blouses, short skirts and short tops.” But it also talks about no ragging and no mobile phones in campus. Almost all private engineering colleges and management colleges in Kerala have uniforms and students from all religion are uniformly dressed there. “Why did our college’s decision to impose uniform become news? There is some political intention behind this,” says Seetha Lakshmi. The only headline in tune with reality was this- Kerala College Mandates Overcoats for Freshers. At All Times. Let’s talk about the college’s cruelty in imposing a uniform even in scorching heat. That’s the real story.