With everyone gearing up to celebrate Holi, DU has taken a decision to impose a curfew timing for boys in order to ensure the safety of the stated individuals. Read on to know more.
On 17th March 2022, the University of Delhi (DU) has announced that boys will not be allowed to indulge in any sort of celebrations in regards to the festival of Holi inside the campus from 5 A.M – 8 P.M. on 18th March 2022. Official notification is yet to be released by the authorities on the official website.
We have seen and received cases of harassment over the years during Holi celebrations. Hence, we felt that boys need to be protected from the female gaze. In order to curb these kinds of incidents, we have undertaken the decision of imposing a curfew. We hope this will keep the boys of our university safe and sound.”
– A DU official under the terms of anonymity
As every year several instances of abuse and misconduct are meted against the boys during Holi festivities, the varsity has decided to take this drastic step “in the best interest of its students.” The university officials have also said consumption of any narcotic substances in the form of ‘thandai‘ is also prohibited in the residences and campus premises. Besides, no permission will be granted to go out or return late at night on March 17. However, this decision has received severe backlash from the student community and is being termed “arbitrary”.
“It’s shameful to see a university which is so renowned to take such a discriminatory measure in the guise of safety. This is nothing but a despotic move by the administration. We can’t be made to feel safe by locking up in our rooms. This is sheer interference in our personal freedom.”
– A DU student who didn’t wish to be named while in conversation with DU Beat
“D in DU stands for discrimination. We have always been denied our rights and this notification is a curtailment of our right to freedom.”
While the student community is utterly disappointed by such a move by the higher authorities, some individuals have expressed their support for the same. In conversation with DU Beat, a Professor from a reputed DU college stated how important it was to ‘lock’ boys inside the room, so as to reduce the number of hideous crimes that take place during the festive season of Holi. Another individual who is a second-year student of the university delineated the fact that cases of harassment against boys happen because they become ‘too’ friendly with the opposite gender, thus paving the path for the latter to tease and assault them.
With mixed responses from all the students and professors, there’s a heated atmosphere created in the varsity. It is the first time in the history of the University of Delhi that the administration is attempting to resolve the issue of harassment during Holi by placing limitations on the mobility of its male students. ‘Freedom Unlimited’, a collective that has played an active role in voicing the concerns of hostel residents, condemns the varsity’s decision. In conversation with DU Beat, they said, “DU’s attempt to curb freedom and impose restrictions on its students has become an age-old tradition now. Why don’t they understand that forcing constraints on victims will not solve the issue? It’s the perpetrators who need to be controlled.“
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Featured Image Credits: Rafiq Maqbool, Associated Press