By Our Reporter
SHILLONG, Feb 12: The NEHUSU on Monday opposed the decision of the management of St. Anthony’s College in Shillong to introduce uniforms for college students.
It has appealed to the students of the college to mobilise in large numbers at the principal’s office on Tuesday and voice their resistance against the “undemocratic, authoritarian imposition of uniforms that is detrimental to the democratic culture, critical space and self-expression of the student community.”
NEHUSU finance secretary Mandor Diengdoh Swer pointed out that making uniforms mandatory would add to the financial burden of the parents. “We are at a historical crossroad, the path chosen shall forever determine the culture of the college campus of not only St. Anthony’s College but of all the colleges of Shillong,” Swer said.
According to him, it is a method of regimentation and sowing the seeds of blind compliance in students. Education is supposed to be emancipatory, it is supposed to inculcate critical thinking, scientific temperament and enable personality development.
“It is supposed to be a tool through which one finds their self-expression, their method of articulation,” he said
Swer added that education is not limited to the four walls of the classroom. It is a dynamic process that takes place everywhere including the day-to-day interactions, social engagement, fashion and campus life.
“Uniforms as a concept fundamentally are in opposition to diversity, self-expression and self-identity. It is a system to inculcate monotony, compliance, colonial morals and weed out dissent, defiance and any sense of individual peculiarities that is essential for personality development. There can be no progress, innovation or creativity in a society guided by the culture of monotony and un-critical submission to authority,” Swer said.
Furthermore, the NEHUSU finance secretary said that uniforms are a naked attempt to infantilise students. “We must not forget that college students are adults who have the right to vote. We are very much capable of giving and receiving consent.”
“It is highly inappropriate to treat us as children, to dictate us what to wear or what to eat or whom to love. It is nothing but moral policing,” he said.