The practice of imposing saree on teachers is not conducive to Kerala's progressive attitude, state Higher Education Minister R Bindu said on Friday. The minister said that one's choice of dressing is an entirely personal matter and no one has the right to criticise or interfere in another's sartorial choices. The Higher Education department on Friday issued a circular in this regard after complaints came from many teachers that several institutions in the state continue to practice such policing.
"The government has already made clear its stance in this regard multiple times. Teachers have every right to dress as per their comfort in Kerala regardless of the kind of institutes they work at. This practice of imposing sari on our teachers is not conducive to Kerala's progressive attitude," Minister Bindu said in a statement.
The minister, who was a professor at the Kerala Varma college in Thrissur said that she used to wear churidars regularly.
"While a teacher has several responsibilities, adhering to such outdated and obsolete ideas is not one of them. One's choice of dressing is an entirely personal matter. No one has the right to criticise or interfere in another's sartorial choices," she said.
The minister pointed out that though the (previous United Democratic Front) government had already issued a circular on May 9, 2014 clarifying this, it has become clear that several institutions in the state continue such practices. "Hence, the Higher Education Department is issuing another circular to this effect," she said.
Happened to talk to a young lecturer a few days ago. She was telling me about an experience she had at an edu institute in Kodungallur about a month ago. Though she has the necessary qualifications, the staff apparently put forward a condition that she had to wear a sari...â€” Dr R Bindu (@rbinducpm) November 12, 2021
Minister Bindu tweeted about speaking to a young woman lecturer a few days ago who had shared her experience at an educational institute at Kodungallur with the minister. Though the young lecturer has necessary qualifications, the staff apparently put forward a condition that she had to wear a saree everyday if she wanted to work there. The minister said that the new circular was issued after news reports of more such incidents have been brought to attention.