Chennai: In a controversial interim direction, the Madras High Court has recommended a ban on ramp walks and beauty contests in colleges and universities in Tamil Nadu.
Justice T S Sivagnanam passed the order while hearing a petition from a Chennai resident Lakshmi Suresh, who accused organisers of a fashion show at the renowned Anna University’s College of Engineering Guindy (CEG) of lowering the dignity of her daughter Akshaya by not giving her the prize money at a beauty contest.
Akshaya, a student of a leading deemed university in Chennai, had participated in a beauty contest/fashion show organised at the CEG in February 2013 as part of an inter-collegiate cultural festival ‘Techofes’. The winner of the contest was promised prizes including a Scooty Pep, an Android Smartphone, lots of gift vouchers and Rs 10,000 cash. The cultural fest was sponsored by major corporates such as Vodafone, Airtel and Canara Banak. Lakshmi alleged that the Students Association and Arts Society of the CEG had advertised prizes worth about Rs 25 lakh for various events. However, her daughter who was declared the winner was not given the prizes and issued a forged certificate.
Alleging that the organisers had urged the participants to do anything to anything to entertain the crowd and seek the attention of the world, Lakshmi said thereby her daughter’s dignity was lowered and her moral values were spoiled.
Hence she prayed the court to direct the CEG to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to her daughter.
While Justice Sivagnanam refused to entertain the plea for compensation for now, he wondered what purpose would be served in an engineering college that was over a century old, by conducting such fashion shows. Expressing concern over the conduct of beauty contests in a State-run institution, he recommended to the Government to ban such events in all colleges and universities including deemed universities.
The judge said a circular should be issued forthwith to all educational institutions and colleges to not conduct any beauty show or any other programme to decide the best looking female/male student on the campus. He then posted the case to February 20 for further hearing.