Male students in the southern state of Kerala are protesting against a Catholic school's banning the wearing of allegedly 'indecent' traditional Indian dress.
    Neyyattinkara diocese's Emmanuel College in Vazhichal has ordered its male students to wear only long trousers and shirts rather than the 'mundu', the 1 1/2 metre white cloth that Kerala men knot around their waist.
    College principal Father Cyril Panjikkaran told UCA News that mundu is not decent attire. "We want our students to come to the college well-dressed," the principal added, explaining that the college insists on a dress code to ensure discipline and basic manners.
    Students, who have gone on strike over the issue, claim the college's move violates their freedom of choice and constitutional rights. They say it discriminates against the poor, as many families cannot afford to buy the more expensive western dress for their sons.
    Accusing the college of trying to attract foreign funds by presenting the students in Western dress, student leader Santosh Kumar said, "We are not commodities to be paraded. It is ridiculous that a cassock-wearing priest declared the state's traditional dress indecent."
1 Sep 00

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