Despite several marches and protests, the curfew rules in several girls hostels in the University haven’t changed. Now, the organisation Pinjratod, which has been on the forefront of this movement, has new plans.
Two days ago, Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology saw a wave of uprising as the women students refused to enter the hostel till their curfew time was raised. Yesterday, students from Punjab University in Patiala too carried on their hunger strike against curfew timings, with one of the girls even suffering from a case of dengue. Meanwhile, all this week and today, the walls of North Campus are being enveloped by rectangular posters sporting reddish hues, posters calling out students for responding to the call of change echoing all over the nation, for joining Pinjratod’s all night indefinite protest.
Pinjratod has also been news in Delhi University with their bold approach in making PGs and hostels less regressive for women students. It started from one cause but now stands for many other injustices that students in the University of Delhi face. Thankfully, with recent protests erupting in different nooks and corners of the country on these very same issues, Pinjratod’s support is only increasing. Often, the case has been that boys hostels are found to have more flexible timings or curfew as compared to the hostels of their female counterparts, which is seen as unequal and unjustified by many. The dissatisfaction behind this can clearly be seen in examples mentioned above. However, this time, it seems like an all out demand against the authority as the indefinite protest is aimed at demanding a “complete removal of curfew for all girls hostels”.
A member of Pinjratod on the condition of anonymity states in conversation with the DU Beat correspondent, “The freedom of women students in university spaces has constantly been curtailed through the imposition of arbitrary curfews by hostels, under the pretext of “safety.” Pinjratod has been persistently raising demands with the DU authorities against the discriminatory curfews and the time has come we remind them again. A memorandum has been submitted to the Vice Chancellor, with the various demands regarding hostel allocation, curfew timings and fee structure, etc. As always, there has been no action taken by the authorities. It is about time we rise to the call of the muffled voices of the women students across colleges and we appeal to all women to join us for the indefinite protest that is to be held on Monday. This fight for liberation shall be maintained. Our oppression shall not be trivialised and this blatant sexism in the name of caution by our detainers shall not be normalised.”
Being promoted with the posters reading “DU against curfew”, the protest is set to start from 4 pm on the 8th of October. There are other allied demands such as need-based allocation of hostel seats (instead of merit) and strict implementation of SC, ST, OBC and PwD reservations in all women’s hostels. With many negotiations, aid by the Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) and scores of protests, the University hasn’t really nodded their heads to Pinjratod’s demands in the past. So, would this week’s effort by Pinjratod succeed in breaking the shackles of the University’s unequal hostel rules or would it again lead to inaction and further delays on the part of the authorities? That, only time will tell.
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat
Shaurya Singh Thapa