Mumbai: The students’ union president of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) who has chosen to be identified as queer has claimed discrimination at an event on the campus over “inappropriate” dress.
A TISS professor here said the institute is known for its inclusive nature and they will look into the matter if there has been any incidence where any student was made to feel discriminated against.
The alleged incident took place on March 25, when a speech was organised on “Ambedkar Nationalism, And the Need for Contemporary Collaborative Activitism”.
In a social media post, TISS students’ union president Pratik Permey said, “I was invited to the Ambedkar Memorial Lecture as a representative of the students’ union, to welcome the guests and do some formalities. When I reached the venue, around 6 pm I showed up in the usual dress. It was a blouse and a skirt.”
Around 7, Permey claimed, a professor and a few members of the organising committee said “for an event like this, you cannot wear something like that”.
Even if the institute wants to curb what students wear, it is not fine, said Permey. “Apart from being an indigenous and tribal person, I am also a queer. I also felt that my queerness was not allowed to represent or rather I was not allowed to because of my queerness,” Permey said.
The student union leader added, “I really felt violated and humiliated. My right and my freedom were curbed. I was not allowed to represent.”
A TISS professor said theirs is perhaps the only institution in the country with a gender-neutral hostel. TISS is known for its inclusive nature with all supportive mechanisms in place for students of all genders and identities to co-exist, said the professor.
“If there has been any incidence where any student feels discriminated, we will look into the matter. All students are assured of an inclusive atmosphere on the campus,” said the professor.