The general public outcry against the alleged molesting of women at a pub in Mangalore, by a group of forty hooligans was mirrored by students of the University of Delhi, here on Friday. On the 25th of January, about 15 to 20 activists, reportedly belonging to Sri Ram Sena, barged into the pub and assaulted boys and girls dancing there, accusing them of behaving in an “obscene manner”.
A group of DU students, under the banner of the All India Students’ association vented their anger by burning effigies of Sri Ram Sene, believed to be behind this deplorable act. Some however adopted a more pacifistic approach. In lieu of this event a protest march across the university campus was organized, wherein participants addressed students at canteens and other public places.
Labeling this incident a fascist diktat these outraged students carried placards that read ‘Down with saffron terrorism’, ‘Resist patriarchy and fascism, defend women’s rights.’ ‘Be it Taliban or Sangh Parivar – both are terrorists’, ‘Shame on attacks on freedom of expression – be it in DU or in Mangalore’, ‘Yeddyurappa must resign’ were some of the slogans that were raised.
This incident, not the first of its kind, once again brought to light the injustices being perpetuated in the garb of ‘moral policing’. The irony of this shameful act happening on the eve of the Republic Day was not lost upon these students. They viewed it as not only a case of blatant denial of women’s rights but also a means of curbing individual freedom.