No matter how progressive and developed we claim to become, moral policing in our society just doesn’t end. From what girls should wear to how they should sit and behave, there’s a long list of diktats for women.
It’s so widespread that a 19-year-old girl was recently not allowed to sit for an entrance test by the examination centre because she was wearing shorts.
The incident happened in the Tezpur district of Assam where Jublee Tamuli went to give this year’s Agricultural Entrance test. She and her father travelled from their hometown Biswanath Chariali to reach the exam venue – Girijananda Chowdhury Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (GIPS).
They reached on time and there wasn’t any other reason she should have been stopped by the exam authorities. But the exam invigilator didn’t let her sit for the test. Why?
They could not have a female candidate wearing shorts in the exam hall.
Jublee elaborated on the entire incident to the Indian Express over phone. Talking about no dress code mentioned in the admit card, she said:
A few days ago, I appeared for the NEET exam in the same town, wearing the exact same attire – nothing happened. Neither does the AAU have any rules about shorts, nor was there anything mentioned in the admit card. How was I to know?
When she failed to convince the invigilators to let her appear for the test, she approached her father for help. The Controller of Exams said she could take the exam, if a pair of pants could be arranged. So her father rushed to the market to buy the same.
A girl in Assam’s GIPS was FORCED to wrap a curtain around her shorts to sit for an Agricultural Entrance Exam.— aboyob bhuyan (@aboyobbhuyan) September 16, 2021
She was barred from sitting in her exams because SHE WORE SHORTS to the centre. Taliban inspired?
Respected EM @ranojpeguassam, please take some action.
All this was happening while she was losing the precious exam time. The school staff and other girls came up with a solution that was equally embarrassing.
They wrapped her legs with a curtain and guess what she was then allowed to sit for the exam.
Some girls even told her that not wearing shorts to exam centre is basic common sense. This was the “most humiliating experience” of Jublee’s life. She now plans to write to Assam Education Minister Ranoj Pegu about the incident.
The principal of the exam centre was not present there at the time of the test and when asked about the incident, he had this to say:
We do not have anything to do with the exam – our college was just hired as a venue for the exam. Even the invigilator in question was from outside. There is no rule about shorts, but during an exam, it is important that decorum be maintained. Parents should also know better.
Netizens are speaking both for and against the incident. But it’s sad to see that there are people who think this is even slightly right.
I think we should maintain the decorum . This is Assam not US or else. India (Assam) is a state which is rich in its cultural entities.— Jyotibikash Bora (@BoraJyotibikash) September 16, 2021
Maintaining that much decorum dignifies our norms, value and richness of our culturaI hope aspiring Journalist must go deep though the matter.
Just curious, had we have the same reaction if it was a boy and he was not allowed to sit in exam because of a dress code violation?— Dashyu BHASKAR (@DashyuB) September 16, 2021
Wearing a short skirt to an examination hall doesn’t degrade our norms, value and richness of our culture. Examinations are not a cultural entertainment. As long as she followed the guidelines of the examination she maintained the decorum.— Gitartha Kashyap (@GitarthaKashap) September 16, 2021
Decorum, commn sense & what else??— Pooja Ghosh (@poojaghosh23) September 17, 2021
Society, culture, & what else??
Dont forget many customs of this society are man made or people made!!
So, if anyone break such custom, what is your (few ppl) issue?
Forced her to cover a curtain n thn allowd her for entrance, is also a custom??
People should really visit any of the IITs, a large majority of the students attend their classes or exams in shorts and sometimes boxers.— Vimal Mosahari, P. (@bodohopper_) September 17, 2021
People who judge culture and character on the basis of length is skirts need to get their heads out of gutter. It's moral policing.