In a new diktat, the director of Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) has issued a circular calling for a ban on celebration of ‘days’ on the campus. Starting Monday, students who came dressed to celebrate themes such as ‘Rose day’ and ‘Formals day’ were not allowed to enter the campus. VJTI director O G Kakde said that the institute is not against cultural activities and had ‘allowed’ students to celebrate extra-curricular events in December. Students, however, are calling the move ‘totalitarian’.
The students say that as part of the week-long celebrations they have been wearing traditional or formal clothes but this has been banned by the college through a notice.
Kakade, however ,refuted the allegations and said that the students were exaggerating and misconstruing facts. “This is not dictatorship. It’s simple, we follow the semester system and due to the tight schedule we hardly have 60-70 academic days to complete the syllabus of the semester. Students had been given a particular time frame in December for extracurricular activities where they had cultural and technological festivals like – Technovanza, Pratibimb and others. How can students want to have fun throughout the year?” said Kakade.
The institute’s decision though failed to the serve the intended ‘academic purpose’. Unfazed, many students shifted their celebrations outside the college gates, to the neighbouring Five Gardens.
A second-year student said that since Monday, the college security guards stopped students who were spotted with a formal tie or wearing stitched blazers from entering the premises. These students were asked to return in “routine clothes”.
The restriction continued on Tuesday, with the college adding another embargo, this time, against roses.
Most students then chose to bunk college and lectures, with the crowd shifting the Rose day celebration to the gardens and restaurants in the vicinity during class hours.
“While the other colleges allowed students to celebrate festivals and cultural days, why has the VJTI director imposed this ban on celebrating such days on campus. Forcing anything on young minds doesn’t work, students in fact have shown that they are willing to compromise on the lectures and academic schedule to celebrate the days by bunking classes. This ban is dictatorship and will not stop students from celebrating these days,” said a third-year student.
Students claim that participation in such events encourage overall development of the students. “Colleges are not only to learn academics but also to develop an overall personality. These are the spaces that a student gets to prepare his or her social skills. However, the new rules say that the institute is only for academics and hence put up a notice refraining us from observing the various days,” said another student.
“When will they study?” questions Kakade. “We are answerable to the Board of Directors and the government for the academic performance of these students. We implemented these rules only to instill discipline in the campus,” he added.