College or Prison ?????

Yday I came to know about something which I felt was quite absurd.  I met a few parents, who have their sons / daughters doing engineering in some colleges in Chennai.  And the details they told, just shocked me.

– The college enforces dress code for the students – boys need to wear formal trousers and full-sleeved shirt – girls can wear salwar kameez or sari.

– This certain college has college buses plying from all over the city to their campus in the outskirts. The students are banned from opting to any other mode of transport (government-run buses / trains / autos) to commute to their college.

– The worst thing which I heard is, the boys and girls are banned from talking to each other, smiling at each other, helping each other for study related problems.  This ban is even effective in the college buses.

– I also heard that the parents of these children are very happy about this enforced ban on basic rights (to wear what you are comfortable with / to talk to ppl with whom you are comfortable with), because they feel that their children will be more focussed on studies and their distractions are nil.

– I heard one boy complain that his college is a prison.

Isn’t this the most absurd and sad thing you’ve ever heard of ????

Yes, I knew that the dress code implementation was going on in many colleges and institutions in India.  But can an enforced dress code change the attitude of the children ?????   Will the enforced dress code stop eve teasing ?????  No, I don’t think so.

I love wearing jeans and I feel its one of the most comfortable dresses in this world.  Just imagine a girl or a boy, in their late teens being asked to forego wearing this wonderful jeans !!!! It’s ridiculous !!! 

The discipline which the college and the parents want in their wards, cannot be obtained by enforcing such dress codes, but by proper upbringing and explaining of moral values and codes from a very young age. 

It’s the responsibility of every parent, who has taken the time to create another human being.   Parents, please take time out of your busy schedule, to spend time with your children to insist the good ways of dressing, living, helping and sharing.  If you have not done all these at home or if you are not practising what all you teach, its highly difficult for your children to follow suit.

The college goes on to explain that all these bans and enforcements are to prevent eve teasing and ragging. How much more absurd can it get ?????

All through their life, the children are prohibited and banned from doing this and that.  I am not telling that the world is a goody goody place. It is not. There are dangers lurking around every nook and corner.  But these kind of enforced protections will only make them meek cats.  Isn’t it the responsibility of the parent to teach their children on how to take the world confidently ????

I’ve heard many a tales, when the young engineer, fresh out of college, in his first job, is struggling to work in a cohesive manner with his lady colleagues.  He is shy to talk to them because he has never spoken to a lady who is also an engineer – the college helped in this and the parents totally supported it.  Now, he is in a mental block to talk with the opposite sex, all thanks to his parents and college. 

How do they expect him to get married and be comfortable, while all through his young age, they’ve made sure that the opposite sex is bad.   This situation is similar to girls too.

All that is required is a good and healthy relationship between the parents and the children.  The more rules get enforced by the parents on their children, the more they get locked into a shell.

Teach the children their basics properly

– let the discipline begin from home

– teach the kids to dress appropriately

– let the parents take an active interest in the child’s psychological development

– let healthier relationships between boys and girls grow

– also teach the children to distinguish the bad from the good

– take time to know what are the ambitions and dreams of your children and teach them to fly towards their dreams and ambitions

– don’t ever enforce your ambitions on them

– most importantly teach them to draw the line of decency in maintaining any relationship

– see the children grow and bloom into confident young adults, who are not ashamed of their gender or their body.

First, as parents, let us make the initiative to make better human beings.  Then the dress codes will not matter anymore.  The ban on talking to the opposite sex can be removed.  Children can be made to have healthy relationships with their friends – both boys and girls.


50 Replies to “College or Prison ?????”

  1. I agree.
    The ONLY good that’ll come out of a dress code is if there’s a uniform given — this’ll prevent status differences being distinct; rich or poor, everyone looks the same; But a dress code? Do they also say girls cant shape their salwars? What happens if a bioy wears a half-sleeved shirt? Will girls visually rape him!? Oh goodness!
    The sad thing was the parents are totally complying and agreeing to this rule and many others. Why dont we allow our children to grow with freedom which involves responsibility ????

    If they are banned from talking to each other, why the hell are they running a co-ed college? Why not separate boys college and girls college? They’ll even be able to bring in more seats and get more money out of it! 😛
    Indeed, that would be best.

    I don’t blame the college admin; i will blame ONLY those parents who sent their kids to such places. You can’t ‘enforce’ anything on a person and expect him to imbibe it; you can expect them to follow it, but not believe in it. And as long as a person does not believe in what he/she does, he/she’ll only become a willing hypocrite — which is the saddedst one can do to one’s kids!
    Its very sad to see that the parents are quite happy abt these forced rules !!! 😦


  2. If its the same college am thinking about starting with an “S”, then this rule has been there from my college times.. Some of my friends who had cousins and friends in that college, told me that the rule exists only till the bus and college. Once, they are out of college, they are busy SMSing each other, going out to movies and hanging out together. So, rules really can’t do anything more than college and as such there is no use of this rule too :).

    Mine was also a co-ed and the environment was free. This certainly helped us in our development and helped to overcome the various barriers. We became more confident and independent. Some of my best friends are from the opposite sex and some of them are like family members to me. In fact one of them talks to my mom more than to me 😦

    So, no use enforcing such rules. Students generally tend to bend rules and I don’t think there can be any personality development with such rules.

    Loved your post… you echoed my thoughts 🙂


    1. According to the mail we exchanged, its not only the one which you mentioned, there are many others who have joined in this wagon. And they are so happy doing this, thinking that they are shaping the future of the college children.

      Yes, thats what I see happening – once they are out of college, they try to break free. But why this forced study time ???? It really saddens me.


  3. This an excellent post Uma. I think all parents should read this and it should be posted and shared where ever it can be, I will do it. I am glad that the university here does not have any such codes and children can follow their heart.

    In my opinion it lies within us to be a what we are and how we dress is not an issue at all.


    1. Thank God, there are still some colleges / Universities who dont follow such silly rules and make children follow their heart.

      Absolutely – its within us – to portray what we are and rules cannot do it for us.


  4. Superb post Ums! What do they achieve by nt letting the boys talk to girls or vice-versa? Why run a co-ed anyways? Cud nt agree more with the points u hv put across .. as though imposing bans on their dresses and ppl they communicate with alone will make the children gud citizens! God bless such colleges!


    1. Its sad to know when ppl are being over-communicative and networking at the speed of light, here are those ppl who stop verbal communication. So, what is the effect of all this ??? These kids will try to do stuff, behind their back. They’ll be all over FB / Twitter / Gtalk and what not. Too much of rules and regulations, will create only regression among students.


  5. Once again you had me nodding in agreement. Some colleges are so ‘neanderthal’, the restrictions they impose on opposite sex interaction gives rise to phrases like, “Omg you kissed me…I will be pregnant now” Some times i think the students too are responsible. Why don’t they rebel. I mean they do not have to break the Principal’s cabin door (which incidentally I did in my college days..but that was the 70s), but they can think novel and humorous ways of protesting. Colleges are prisons because we choose to be prisoners.


    1. Aren’t colleges meant to make the thinking spectrum more wider for these young adults ???? And if such rules are being followed, it’ll only make them more narrow minded.

      Novelty in protesting seems to be a novel idea.

      Agree with you – “Colleges are prisons because we choose to be prisoners.”


  6. Thankfully, I had the best college life. For about 7 years, no one ever bothered to even notice what I wore. Except once for a senior who asked me if I considered my college to be some kinda beach resort 😀 😀 😀
    LOL, Vimmuuu, may be you wore that beachwear, which you mentioned in your recent post. 😆

    To be honest, till about 10th, I had the same misconception about boys and girls talking which will lead to you know you know.
    OMG !!! 🙄
    But that isnt what I got from my parents. We had girls doing the morning shift and us the afternoon shifts and that thought was injected into us by our teachers.
    Thats ridiculous !!!
    You wont imagine, when girls walk down to their buses after their shift, we guys were supposed to stand outside in the hot sun (schooling in dubai) and keep looking down until all the girls have cleared the school premises.
    And you followed it, with out looking up ???? Cant believe this.
    There were supervisors to check if any guys lifted their head too. We could listen to girls giggle as they walk by !!! Aaarrghh, torture it was !!!
    The torture was not seeing all the girls, when they passed by you, right ???? Tell me, you dont know any of their names, eh ????
    My mom used to tell others, till about 7th or 8th, I used to hate girls. After going through all that, you cant blame me, can you ? 😀 😀
    Blame you ??? For what ???? 😉 😉


    1. hahaha.. y do i find it difficult to imagine u standing outside the bus, with ur head down as the girls got off the bus!! 😉

      and err, when can i meet aunty???? need to clarify some things with her!!hehe


  7. I have studied in Co-ed schools and colleges.. in School there is some ban kinda thing as there will be only boys or girls which meant we have never spoken to any girl till 10th and when we entered 11th where it’s a co-ed class but again our mindset never let us to speak with anyone freely..

    In college it almost continued…. anyway compared to the Jeppiar instituitions mine 100 times better… what irks me is parents want to force their children to those colleges and not worrying about how they are going to treat their students…. College life one of the best part of the life and it needs to be enjoyed… the books, spoon-fed knowledge and the prison like environment never ever going to teach them anything in life….

    In Jeppiar college buses there will be a rope dividing girls and boys space… quite funny to hear but the students will suffer for sure…

    And I really really agree with you on the way of bringing up of kids.. it needs to be instilled in their early years instead of forcing it after they are grown up….


    1. Yes, of late, I am seeing this trend creeping into the schools tooo. While the girls and boys have fun till Class 6, there seems to be a dividing line once they reach puberty. Its the time to come to terms with your body and being rejected by your once friendly boys, it hurts.

      From what you are telling me, there are colleges much worse than what I heard. A rope to separate the boys and girls ???? 🙄


  8. Excellent post Uma. This segregation based on gender is THE reason for the so called eve-teasing and harassment, certainly not the jeans or any dress as it is made out to be.
    Very rightly said. But I see that there are a huge sect of ppl, who are thinking on the other darker side and they think that its the best for their children.
    My children have grown up in the army background and have always been mingling freely with the other sex. I still remember the day I introduced my son who was then a final year student of engineering, to the daughter of an acquaintance, also a final year student of a different college at a family function. The girl was literally shocked and no I am not joking. Neither is my son a scary sight! 😉 Though dressed in the latest style, she couldn’t even say a decent ‘hello’ when introduced.
    Yes, thats where the upbringing matters. If her parents have been more open-minded in their thinking, she would’ve been better off. If the parents have taught her that being friendly with a boy is not a crime, then she would have learnt better.


    1. ‘This segregation based on gender is THE reason for the so called eve-teasing and harassment, certainly not the jeans or any dress as it is made out to be. ‘ I agree Shail. If boys and girls met freely, they might tease, joke and fight, but one won’t see boys asking girls to ‘make fraindhsip with them’ .


  9. Excellent have raised the very basic question to the institutes and the parents of course. I don’t think only banning certain kinda dressing will gonna reduce eve teasing etc. In fact human tendency is mostly “Break the Rule” and “Be curious about prohibited things” Hence i think the more restriction we put on kids,more bold and daring they become to break the rules.

    Parents have to put in some extra efforts in order to make their kids confident in life.


    1. Yes, the children are more curious abt what they are not allowed to do / not allowed to watch. Its better to be honest with them abt relationships and everything related to it.

      If parents cannot put in that extra effort, then they made a big mistake of bringing a life into this earth.


  10. I have never understood what’s the problem with Chennai colleges. Bangalore is just 300 kms away & it feels like a whole new planet. This doesn’t mean youngsters are out of control here. Usually one knows to draw the line & the ones who don’t will find a way to break rules given any situation.


    1. Dear lostworld

      its not “chennai Colleges”, its in one or two colleges that such practices are followed.. the others are totally chilled out and very different – more open…


    2. Yes, LW, there are other colleges, which are wonderful to be in. I am trying to get that list. 🙂

      If the young adults are taught to draw the line between decent friendliness and other wrong stuff, they’ll do fine. Actually, they’ll be more responsible for their actions.


  11. yeah, I have heard it from frds who have studied in such colleges and the rules are really so stupid!!!!

    thankfully I studied in a college which was just the opposite………. which we misused as usual 😛
    we could do about anything in college…… participate in politics, call strikes and reschedule exams…………….. 😛 party in the college campus late at night…….
    those were the days 😛


    1. You had the extreme fun in college, I suppose !!!!

      But just imagine a late-teen put into such pressure and rules, just becos he was born a boy or she was born a girl !!! Its ridiculous.


  12. My younger son went to a school which was co-ed, but boys and girls were segregated, boys could not talk to girls etc. I tried to argue with them – it is against a complete all round development and the kids will be too shy when they grow older … the school did not listen. I withdrew my son! Its silly!!!


    1. You did the right thing !!! But alas, that courage is lacking in parents here, who are sending their children to these engg colleges.

      BTW, welcome here !!! Glad to see u here. 🙂


  13. If this is the college i think it is…. Then i can tell you some more stories… :))) Did a training project for them and heard some scary instances that had me shell shocked and grateful that i dint do engg or that my parents dint consider this college!!
    Now, after writing this post, I’ve learnt that many engg colleges in Chennai and Tamil Nadu are like this – silly rules to be followed becos he is a boy and she is a girl.

    Even if this is some other college, here are some things i’ve heard/seen

    – Most students dint want to study there, but were forced by their parents [ as they knew someone on the board or $$ worked wonders]
    Yes, I heard abt that too. Earning in $$$ mattered more than the right understanding of gender related things. What will the guy / girl do, when she reaches the $$$ place ??? (S)He will be in for a culture shock.
    – yes, girls and boys not allowed to sit next to each other or talk to each other EVER- on bus, classrooms, canteen, campus…
    Silly thing, na ???
    – there were these warden kinda guys appointed by principal who would prowl the corridors and classrooms, they were given more importance than teachers.. and if these wardens saw a girl and guy looking at each other, it was “To the principal’s office” and the parents of both kids were called.. it was made to look like they were having an affair…
    This is absolutely like “kodungol aatchi” by the Hitler kinds. I hate such places.
    – if boys came to college unshaven, or long hair… a barber on campus would give them a haircut after they were pulled outta the class room
    Dont they have better things to do, like teaching them good stuff ????
    – If a student misses the college bus, and comes on his own, and is late[God forbit], he is made to stand near the watchman’s hut in the blazing sun all day… its called GD[gate duty] and other cases punishment is OD[ office duty]-stand outside the office room all day….
    Aarti, I beginning to hate these engg colleges. Now, you see why all the kids want to study abroad ????
    Phew.. it infuriated me to think that kids were put thru such rigour and they have no choice but to follow them!!

    Did meet some parents who are yes, proud of all these rules, and think its best for their kids… Sad to think parents put such trivial rules ahead of their kids’ happiness!!! [consider myself truly lucky]
    Thats the saddest part – where the parents agree to such torture. Am glad you were lucky !!!


  14. How are men supposed to stop seeing women as ‘objects’ from some other planet without communicating with them just like they would communicate with anybody else?
    The parents and colleges dont allow the young adults to communicate normally with the opposite sex. Then, when they communicate, they have already formed an opinion abt the opposite sex. There is no effort in understanding each other.

    Every time I hear a man say, ‘women nag’, ‘women are emotional’, women love self sacrifice, women forgive everything, all women see children and family as their future, ‘women should behave like women’ … it’s obvious that they have had no time to communicate or interact with enough women to understand that women are just like all the other people in the world do. That women are humans.
    Every thing is generalised becos they have not learnt it by themselves. Its what they hear abt women. If they have made an effort, life would have been different.

    Such segregation leads to thinking that a woman wears jeans so that men would be incited to sexually assault them. (That Iranian fellow and Muthalik are victims of this same segregation 😐 ) Some colleges ban jeans and reinforce such misconceptions.
    Yes, I agree.

    They are going to be colleagues, subordinates, bosses, patients, clients, rivals – in future and it’s going to take some time for them to unlearn these misconceptions and to understand that men and women are just humans, and individuals.
    Very true. But, by the time they understand, it might be too late.

    And then how are they expected to communicate with their spouses – they might think it’s perfectly healthy to give each other no space or to hide behind a newspaper.

    I feel a lot of parents fear that these young adults might find partners for themselves, and if it’s young man, some girl might ‘trap him and take him away from them’. That’s a big loss of dowry. Parents of daughters fear – some man might trap her and ruin her life.
    Why not talk to them about their concerns and trust them a little, and also accept and respect their choices?

    Legally they can’t be stopped from not just communicating but even from living with each other.
    Thats the basic idea of human existence. How do they think of running away from it ????


  15. Haha I think I know this college. (Satya…..?? right?)

    Well, when I was working as a training coordinator in my old company we used to go out to colleges to talk to students about what kind of training we provide when they join our company, and this college for sure made me so sad. The kids were seriously deprived of everything fun that someone that age is supposed to do. This college and more like this will only result in individuals who have issues about the opposite sex. Not healthy!


    1. I heard abt another one, and then came to know that this one too is like that and there are more colleges in the same line.

      Absolutely not a healthy relationship pattern !!! Just pray that the parents come out of this enclosed circle forced onto themselves and see the world in a broader perspective.

      Welcome here Shilpadesh !!! 🙂


  16. I can’t understand why people making big buzz about all these.Actually most of the professional colleges are preparing there students to move to next stage.Even now a days in most of the companies , employees has to wear formals(though decent casuals are allowed occasionaly)
    The college which i stdied usually visited by international people and big firms’s like Dell,Accenture,infosys visit to conduct campus interviews,So when they see students with torn jeans,sleevless tshirts girls with micro mini’s ..what they will think.
    OK, agreed that there needs to be decent dress code. But it cannot be achieved by force. The young adult needs to feel from within, the need of decent clothes – only then he’ll enjoy college life and learn about the bigger circle of life too.
    @ own vehicles – It is just to ensure students safety only.There are n number of accidents reported coz of rash driving inside the campuses.
    OK, let them come by college bus, but not to talk to the opposite sex is just totally a bad rule.
    I will say college is place to study not show off..Once they are out they can do what ever they want.Even when i(and my friends) was in college(which is a synonymus for strict rules and regulations) , we used to complain a lot and when ever we got a chance we acted rebel…..anyways now when we look back we are happy the way our college brought us up.Where ever we go our college brand name and values speak for us 🙂 …
    You complained a lot. But did you have fun in college ???? You mean to say that the forced dress code is equivalent to you brought up ?????

    the boys and girls are banned from t I’m aganist this rule.Once they join work ..they have to cordinate work with opp sex.Some morons who still live in 18th century won’t understand all that.But again many parents(read especially from some part of tamil nadu) want these rules to follow,So can’t blame colleges.In our college we always interacted with opp sex and cordinated lot of activitis together though we had few restriction.CO-education is very important…
    Yes, its important AT. But why its not being followed ????? How can you say that you cant blame the colleges ????

    bit busy now(but i desperately wanted to comment now) will be back later again 🙂


    1. I studied in a residential college and off course we had a good time over there.Uma i know which all colleges you are talking about…Sathyabhama ,St Joseph,JPR,Karunya ,Amrita etc …correct na…(and off course i graduated from one of the college from this list 🙂 )
      Now let me clear my point…In these colleges majority are NRI students who paid heavy donations for getting a seat over there.So it is up to colleges to ensure the quality….Like good results ,good reputation and good placements.So that they have to implement some strict rules and regulation…And one more point is no matter how strict rules these colleges have or heavy donations \fees charged year after year , parents are rushing up these colleges(compared to others) to get a seat for there kids ….So that means many parents prefer these rules and regulations….And also you should see how many MNC’s are visiting and recruiting candidates from these campuses every year coz of the quality of resources they produce

      And if you check the top 5o professional colleges in India,these colleges are in the result…..And at the end of the day it is up to you or your kids to decide which college to study….

      P.S : I’m against this girl-boy restriction….can’t justify it at all…..It is bull crap


  17. Oh lord! Can this be expected in this day and age? But, it must be so hard for the kids to keep up with these rules at this college! And as u so rightly pointed out does not help them learn to interact!
    Which is my precise point about boys and girls mingling too, altho some elders disagree ! I feel that they must be able to talk to each other as humans first, as at every point later in life and even now at this level, they will have to interact in so many circumstances, at work, training, college time, boss level etc!

    In fact, how else will they ever know that a healthy rship can exist between men and women! instead they shd be teaching them to respect each other!It is a life / relationship skill that they will lose, by not knowing how to handle it at all!!


    1. Right Indy. Talk to the opposite sex, as human beings first, before forming gender based opinions. The present set of colleges and parents dont prepare these young adults for their later interaction with the other gender, both professionally and personally. I just hope that those parents will realise and change for the better.


  18. Uma, you should see the reaction I got via Gbuzz to this post of yours! 😉 Amusing if not for the fact that it saddens me greatly to think that such people exist among the educated lot.


  19. Strange places, these colleges. We had to wear saris during grads too, and about 60% of the girls ensured that they wore it better (or worse!) than the vamps on tv. Shows what good really comes from such rules. deprived students always find a way to rebel. most students do just that…liqour, grass and porn gets distributed like temple prasad!


    1. Thats really sad, na Meira. When they make it forced on students, the rebellism is quite natural.

      Its high time, the colleges learn to teach the rules by leading in example and making the students develop healthy relationships with the opposite sex.


  20. Gosh! This is certainly prison. Boys and girls not being allowed to talk to each other? Which planet are these folks from? This only aggravates negative behaviour!! Good post uma. Liked all your suggestions. Esp. this one: ‘- see the children grow and bloom into confident young adults, who are not ashamed of their gender or their body’


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