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Mumbai University Draws Flak for Ditching Colonial Graduation Robes for Traditional Attire

Peshwa Bajirao or Professor Quirrel?


Updated:October 25, 2019, 5:48 PM IST
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Mumbai University Draws Flak for Ditching Colonial Graduation Robes for Traditional Attire
Image credit: Twitter

For its upcoming convocation event, Mumbai University has asked its students and faculty to ditch the black robes and instead come dressed in traditional Indian clothes.

When Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman replaced the colonial black briefcase with a red binder representing the Indian tradition of 'bahi-khata', the country cheered. However, Mumbai University's attempts to discard the colonial black graduation robes to promote Indian tradition had more hilarious than symbolic effect.

The University on Wednesday mandated the 'shivkalin angrakha' - a traditional jacket-style garment donned by by Maratha warrior Shivaji Bhonsle, along with a red head-gear characteristic of earlier Maharastrian academics as the official convocation dress for its over 100 faculty members. The angrakha will be replete with a Paithani border that traditionally represents commitment, good governance and valour, India Today reported.

For students, the University stuck to mandating salwar kameez and sari for women and kurta pyajama for men.

Recently, the varsity released images of the outfit on Twitter. And it is safe to say that many netizens were left "speechless".

However, the jokes and memes soon began.

Some compared the new costume to the worn by actor Ranbir Singh as Peshwa Bajirao in the 2015 film Bajirao Mastani. Yet others were reminded of Professor Quirrel, the twitchy, purle turban-clad Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Yet others criticized the move as redundant. "Instead of changing the dress,try to change the whole system on which MU works," a Twitter user wrote.

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