IIT-Bombay graduates will be seen wearing Khadi at the convocation ceremony this year.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay seems to have finally decided to move on from the ‘colonial convocation robes’ and introduce centuries-old home-grown ‘Khadi’ as part of the convocation attire for its graduating batch.
The institute has announced that students will be draped with Khadi uttarias (scarf) around the neck at the convocation ’16, which is scheduled to be conducted on August 13.
According to sources, IIT-B has ordered 3,500 coloured uttarias made of "honeycomb towel cotton khadi" from Khadi Bhavan, Mumbai.
IIT-Bombay director Devang Khakhar says, “The move is aimed at evoking a feeling of nationalism in students as khadi is a “national symbol.”
Among these, 1,500 Khadi stoles will be in blue to be given to M.Tech graduates, 1,250 in green colour for B.Tech graduates and 350 red Khadi scarves for research degree holders.
Some maroon, saffron and white uttarias carrying the IIT Bombay monogram have also been ordered for teachers and other staff members.
Replacing the British ceremonial dress code, wore by students on graduation day, with an Indian-attire has been the subject of debate across the country for quite some time now.
Last year, University of Hyderabad invited criticism from students who held protests against the varsity for following UGC guidelines and asking graduates to shun ceremonial robes and wear Indian dresses for the convocation.
The decision to have Khadi attire for convocation at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay may also reignite allegations that the Modi government is trying to saffronise the country’s education space in the name of promoting Indian culture and handloom industry.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has often spoken about reviving the traditional textile industry and has urged the public to increase use of Khadi fabric.
Meanwhile, IIT-Kharagpur is also planning to introduce khadi for convocations. A senior official at the institute said, “Our objective is always to promote local artisans who require encouragement from people like us. Swadeshi means many things including khadi. So our options are open.”
IIT-Delhi, on the other hand, is yet to decide whether to go for khadi-made convocation robes or not.
Gujarat Technological University and Ambedkar University are among other universities that have already made khadi compulsory for graduation ceremony.
With inputs from hindustantimes.com