In an enormous victory for Pinjra Tod and women across the University of Delhi (DU), hostel timings have now been given a significant extension by the Proctor.
Hostel timings in the University of Delhi (DU) were extended till midnight on Friday in order to “reclaim public spaces for women” according to the Proctor, in agreement to the demands of student activism groups like Pinjra Tod amongst others. Divya, a senior Pinjra Tod member spoke of the accomplishment, “This is a landmark move which would remove patriarchal and unconstitutional curfew from all women’s hostels”. The move came after months of lobbying with the administration undertaken by the feminist collective. Regarding the same, the Proctor announced, “We’ve agreed to one of their demands of extending the hostel deadlines till midnight, for a trial period of 6 months. If all goes well, we’ll bring this into force permanently. ”
However, not all political circles accepted this decision. The Delhi unit of ABVP issued a statement against this “injudicious” statement of the “misguided” Proctor. The State Secretary said, “It is not our culture to allow women to stay out until odd hours of the night. We will not allow this heinous breakdown of our culture.” Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, has gone a step ahead and organised a hunger strike against the Proctor’s decision. The members of the wing have set up a makeshift pavilion in front of the Faculty of Arts, wherein they would hold their strike. On a phone call conversation with the correspondent, Rajat Pandey, Chief of Bajrang Dal said, “This imbecilic move of the Proctor will only lead to reckless behaviour by couples, which might have outcomes as drastic as unwanted pregnancies. Girls from respectable families shouldn’t be allowed to move around at night. We must be cautious of mindlessly imbibing Western culture.” He further asserted, “We won’t stop our hunger strike until this impetuous development is revoked.”
The All Students’ Parents’ Association (ASPA) held a press conference wherein its internal frictions surfaced. Responding to queries from the press, the Secretary said, “The association thinks that it’s a progressive step, and shall strive to ensure that the required safety measures are taken to facilitate the same.” On the other hand, when the President was questioned on the level of comfort that parents feel in respect to this resolution, he said, “To be honest, the comfort level is zero. Parents from all over the country strive to get their girls into the hostel in the hope that they’d be safe. If the administration is insensitive enough to disregard the fears of parents living thousands of miles away, we spit on that administration.”
So far, the consensus on the decision in terms of public reaction is still not out. While some people find the decision revolutionary in terms of putting women and men on equal fronts, while others see it as a deliberate attack on our culture and values.
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Feature Image Credits: Women’s Web
Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak