For Kashmiri in Bengaluru, punitive beard cut for better marks

Srinagar

A college in Bangalore has asked four Kashmiri students to shave off their beard else they will not be allowed to attend their classes.

According to a report published in The Hindu, four students from Kashmir, who were enrolled in Adarsh College of Nursing in Mariyappana, Mallathahalli, Bengaluru, were left in the lurch after the principal allegedly barred them from attending classes until they shaved their beards. Citing ‘hygiene’ as the reason, the principal, who had joined the college a little less than a month ago, informed the students that their internal marks would be affected if they failed to comply.

Three of the students are in the first year B Sc course while the fourth is in his second year. They told The Hindu that the principal summoned them and asked them to shave the beard if they wanted to be marked in their internals, the report said.

The report quoted one of the students saying: “for the past week, we are being sent out of class on instructions from the principal for not shaving our beard. The management was fine with our beards when we filled the admission form. All of a sudden, the principal, who joined 20 days ago, asked us to shave. She barred us from entering the class. The beards are a part of our faith.”

Another alleged that on Wednesday he could only attend two lectures. “When the principal got to know that we were in class, she asked the lecturers to send us out,” he claimed. “We tried reasoning with her, but she was adamant, citing discipline and uniformity.”

The principal, Priyadarshini, told the newspaper that she stood by her decision as it was a professional course and that there was a need for students to be ‘disciplined, and maintain hygiene’.

“These people are serving patients. It is our protocol to ensure that the nails of our students are short, boys are clean shaven, and do not have a piercing. Moreover, it’s an internal issue which was resolved with the college management,” The Hindu quoted Priyadarshini as saying.

The four boys checked with other nursing colleges in the city to find out if it was mandatory to be clean shaven. “We were told that there is no such rule,” the report quoted one of the students as saying.

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