The University of Kashmir proposed a ban on Kashmiri traditional dress, Pheran in library premises. Earlier, the government headed by Governor SP Malik, banned the dress at the civil secretariat. The Directorate of School Education Kashmir, also banned Pheran at its zonal offices in the valley and issued a notice stating that all those who were visiting the zonal office should come in proper dress and recommended that no official would come to office in Pheran, lowers and plastic shoes. Keeping in mind the banning of Pheran at the civil secretariat and the department of education Kashmir, the Allama Iqbal library of the University of Kashmir, also imposed a ban on the dress and asked the students to not enter the library premises wearing Pheran.
The Pheran is an integral part of the Kashmiri culture. It is believed that the Pheran came to the valley from Central Asia where it was used as a cloak called ‘Pairahan’. According to the students of Kashmir University, the library staff is quoting Directorate of Internal Quality Assurance (DIQA) guidelines, to ban wearing the Pheran. However, when the students demanded a written copy of the guidelines from the library authorities, they refused their request. Meanwhile, J&K Students Movement (JKSM) General Secretary, Naveed Bakhtiyar said that they want complete revocation of such guidelines and orders which were adversely affecting their culture. He further said that they had warned the authorities of Kashmir University against banning Pheran.
According to the university chief librarian G M Peerzada, the order was imposed in the campus for security reasons. He said since the campus was not fully installed with CCTV cameras, they had to propose such a step. “When the cameras are in place, the students can wear any kind of dress in the campus premises. He further said that authorities found some students stealing books from the library and hiding them inside their pherans.
Earlier, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) removed the Kashmiri language from the online portal ‘Basha Sangam’, following a complaint by some Kashmiri Pandits.