• What you wear is where you can get: Bizarre rules in Rajasthan

    In another move towards establishing regimental control, Rajasthan government introduced a new rule for aspirants running for state level civil services examinations. The new rule expects the aspiring candidate to be dressed up in Salwar kameez or saree with chappals or sandals. The rationale given by the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) is that they intend to restrict means for students to cheat in exams.

    Well, we know that the objective and the measures adopted have no cause-effect relationship whatsoever. To begin with, the college I graduated from had salwar-kameez for its uniform and a lot of my friends and I carried cheating material very conveniently into the examination hall.

    What’s most painful to know as a woman is that such oddly controlling rules come during times when the state is being led by a woman chief minister, Vasundhara Raje, for the first time since the nation’s independence. We are only beginning to talk about the steps forward to achieving free public spaces for women when we have been hit by such a regressive step in the opposite direction.

    It is not a lesser known fact that Rajasthan also has the highest rates of female foeticides and infanticides not only within the country but also in the world. It also has the highest rate if child marriages. Violence against women and dowry related deaths are third highest in the country. 

    The job of the Public Service Commission is to:

    Develop and maintain leadership within the state,

    To alter current and suggest new models to tackle current social problems, and

    To oversee and conduct recruitment procedures for requirements of personnel in the state machinery.

    While members of the state continue to battle social issues that impede their path to progress as individual units, mentioned above juxtaposed with the new ‘rule’ and the duties of the commissioner of the RPSC do not really fall in place.

    With issues like inadequate representation of women in the legislature (it’s only 14.5% in Rajasthan), we are distracted by petty news of inadequate control over one’s behavior and choice. Our ability or capability to run a state department or event contest the elections is nowhere even remotely associated with what we wear or eat or where we live. Those things are personal choice.

    Perhaps the commission should rather try to align itself with the government’s new #digitalindia Initiative in order to curb cheating rather than adopt such redundant measures.


    Sources referred: Mid-day infomedia
    Photo credit: Deccan Chronicle