Often in news for the wrong reasons, the state of Bihar has broken a tradition again, but this time for the right reasons. According to the new directives as issued by new Governor Lalji Tandon, the state of Bihar will have a new dress code for the convocation ceremonies in the respective universities and colleges.
According to the circular, the newly issued dress code consists of Salwar-kurti for the female graduates, while the male graduates would wear dhoti kurta for the convocation ceremony. The dress code has also been changed for other dignitaries attending the said convocation, ranging from the Chief Guest to the Chancellor of the university. The malviya turban has now been made mandatory for all the dignitaries to be present during the convocation.
Though this is nothing new, institutions like BHU, IIT are already following this new trend. This is the first time that a state has officially sanctioned the need for a desi dress code for convocations. This is also a revolutionary decision for the state, since convocations aren’t a regular affair in the state of Bihar.
To be truthful, the convocation or Deekshant, as it is known in Hindi, has a unique significance in the Indian peninsula. Even our religious scriptures speak highly about it. Be it the Pandavas in Mahabharata, or Shri Ram in Ramayana, Deekshant was considered as a golden opportunity to show one’s prowess on various issues and disciplines in front of the entire society or the world. As such, the right dress for a convocation ceremony is a matter of not just prestige, but also a sign of how one looks at his/her native culture.
Unfortunately for the Indian universities, the norms of dressing have been dictated by the West. The long academic gowns, along with the graduation hats as introduced by the British, are more of a symbol of slavery than a matter of pride. Even when they left the Indian peninsula for good, none of our leaders found it worthy of ditching this tradition. Besides the gown culture isn’t suitable for the subtropical climate of India, the cotton dhotis, kurtas and salwar suits are much better for the same.
It was only in late 2016, that students of institutions like IIT, BHU etc. decided to set a new trend and ditch the British traditions for a cool, desi look. Starting with kurtas and angavastram, this dress code caught on real quick and was applied in almost all the prominent, self financed institutions all over India. Now it is a matter of pride that the government of Bihar has decided to officially sanction a desi dress code for the upcoming convocations in the colleges and universities of Bhira. We hope that this pursuit to give more respect to the native traditions continues further in letter and spirit.