By Mehroo Batra
The start of the new season will also mark the beginning of Delhi University coming under the secure lens of closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras. These cameras will be installed in and around the campus. After repeated demands of teachers and student organisations, Delhi Police has decided to put up forty six CCTVs on the North Campus by the end of this month.
The police hope to install around sixteen zooming cameras and thirty fixed ones by June 15th. The cameras will be installed at strategic locations such as the college gates, the dean of studentsâ€™ welfare and vice-chancellorâ€™s offices and nearby areas that have concentrated PG accommodations such as Mukherjee Nagar and Kamla Nagar.
A handful of colleges already have CCTV cameras. For instance, Sri Venkateswara College in South Campus has these cameras since last 8 years. The cameras are located in the canteen, the lobby and the library. The college authorities say that the cameras have proven beneficial to the college as it helps in monitoring student activities. Hansraj College also has four CCTV cameras installed in their campus- one camera each in front of the main gate, the library, the field area and the canteen.
However the question that arises is whether or not this system of invisible omniscience aimed at ensuring the safety of students, is the right way to go about things. These glass lenses watch impassively as we move about our daily lives, recording, noting all. Surveillance innately lowers the trust and increases suspicion. Don’t students have rights to go about their lives without this level of suspicion? The implication being that students are no longer trustworthy, branded guilty before the act. After all if you have something to hide, then you must be guilty. Where does privacy exist in such a setting? Isn’t privacy a fundamental right of all human beings?
Remember the nightmare you once had? When you thought someone was watching you. Well its true-. Big brother is watching you, for your own safety.