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20 Jun 2019, 21:00 HRS IST
  • PTI
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  • Protest against Puneri pagadi at Pune university convocation

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19:12 HRS IST

Pune, Jan 11 (PTI)
Student activists shouted slogans against the use of 'Puneri pagadi', a traditional headgear associated with the city, during the 114th convocation ceremony of Savitribai Phule Pune University here Friday.

Police detained at least five students following the protest.

Some student organisations had opposed the varsity's decision to replace the cap-and-gown worn during convocation with the traditional kurta-pyjama and Puneri pagadi.

They allege that by introducing Puneri pagadi, the varsity is toeing RSS' and Hindu right-wing's agenda.

Some leaders have alleged that Puneri pagadi is mainly associated with Brahmins.

One of the students who was detained said the varsity has first mandated kurta-pyjama and Puneri pagadi for all the students attending the convocation.

"After we objected, they revoked the notification and said only guests at the ceremony will wear Puneri pagadi. But we had warned that if even guests were seen donning the pagadi, a donkey wearing Puneri pagadi will be paraded on the campus," said Akash Zambare Patil of the Nationalist Student Congress, NCP's student wing.

"After seeing guests wearing Puneri pagadi, students brought a donkey on the campus and put Puneri pagadi on its head," he said.

Asked why they were opposed to Puneri pagadi, Patil said the varsity is named after social reformer Savitribai Phule, who along with her husband Jyotirao Phule opened the doors of education to the marginalised masses.

"Our demand was if you want to replace the convocation cap, replace it with Phule pagadi (the kind of pagadi Jyotirao Phule wore), otherwise continue with the old dress," he said.

Senior police inspector Dayanand Dhome of Chatushringi police station said five or six students were detained for raising slogans. They were released later, he added.

A senior varsity official said Puneri pagadi was worn only by the guests on the dais.

"The varsity decided to go ahead with kurta and pyjama for students instead of the gown, however, the cap was not replaced. Only guests wore Puneri pagadi," he said.

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