The academic space of university is supposed to be conducive for personal growth and in which a young woman thrives into an independent and confident person, but thanks to the regressive hostel rules and constant moral policing of the authorities; it’s actually a space which reinforces and strengthens patriarchal norms that hinders growth of female students.
Chitra Dabral, Secretary of Phrophecy- fashion society of Lady Irwin College laments, “My society members, who live in hostels, never get to enjoy even a single the star night during the fest session because of the hostel timings. What’s worse is that we often have to cancel our participation, if competitions are scheduled later than 6pm.”
While male hostel residents enjoy late nights and have lax curfews rules (none, in many cases), girls are obliged to return within the walls by as early as 7pm. Such discriminatory regulations are very conveniently justified under the grab of women’s “safety”. What authorities fail to understand is, such rules put women at further risk as they are unable to return to the hostel at night and hence have to look for shelter elsewhere. Besides, if the authorities were so concerned about the “safety” issues then they would have shown the same enthusiasm they display while exercising control, in constituting Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee Cells as per the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court of India.
Voices of resistance against unfair rules are cropping up across campuses. The latest case in example is the permission letter written by two students to the warden of Kaveri Hostel of Ambedkar University, Delhi.
Unlike their male counterparts, girls are asked to give explanations and seek permission to spend a few extra hours out of the hostel. In response to this “permission culture”, the girls wrote an honest letter resonating that they were “stressed and disappointed” with their academic life and hence needed a break. The picture of the letter was shared by Pinjra Tod on their Facebook Page .Talking to DUBeat, on condition of anonymity, one student of Ambedkar University confirmed that the duo was granted permission.
We don’t know if the letter was rebellion of a sort or just an honest request. Though by the looks of it, the latter seems to be the case. As they say, humor is the best way to expose the ridicule.
Feature Image Credits: The Quint