An account of a day’s happenings involving Hindu College students, politics, and social media.
Sometimes in the light of humour and candidness, people tend to cross the line of what’s appropriate and what’s not. A string of sexist remarks had fermented a social media battle in Hindu College since yesterday. It all started with a Physics Hons student’s Facebook post. Sachin Gupta in a post on the social networking site started out with the lines ‘Just saw two chicks wearing short skirts and high boots…’.He mocked how such girls tend to wear short clothes even when the city’s thermometer is on the extreme low, a particular phrase in his post being ‘…they had to show off their thighs which weren’t thicc at all…’.
Well, this country has the freedom of speech so Sachin expressed himself casually expressing his judgemental sexist views. However, students from various departments in the college expressed their disgust and displeasure towards the Physics student’s views with the majority feeling freedom of speech does not imply to openly let out demeaning thoughts. However, this post was just the start.
This was followed by a string of ruder comments, a prominent one being by another Physics student and one of the Person with Disabilities (PwD) secretary of the Hindu College Parliament, Devashish Singh who commented ‘These species don’t feel winter- 1) Penguins 2) Polar Bear 3) Whores’. Naturally, the post and the comments sparked off an upsurge and began to be shared repeatedly amongst students. When asked about his comments, Devashish followed up with another comment stating ‘…I will keep my mentality with me cos I don’t care what they say about me.’. Other comments by some more people were equally uncultured like take ‘Photo khinch lena tha’ (You should have clicked a photo), for instance!
Holding a Cabinet position in the college parliament and being involved in such tussles is a risky move as the students would start questioning the whole parliament too who didn’t bring out an official statement in response yet.
Devashish, who was yesterday boldly proclaiming his freedoms and adamant nature to express himself, became an apologetic post holder today. Both Sachin and Devashish posted long apologies on their Facebook walls, ‘clarifying their stance’ and ‘apologising sincerely’ for their comments in a subdued tone. The Canteen Secretary, Utkarsh Sharma, also took to social media saying that he acknowledges that this is the sort of behaviour that is symptomatic of male chauvinism and male privilege. “I hope that Hinduites will have a fair judgement on the matter,” Utkarsh added.
The students are still not satisfied with this sudden mood swing. Many are of the view that Devashish just posted a formal apology because he fears losing his seat in the parliament. Rishabh Chaturvedi, an English Honours student college fumes in anger, ‘He deserves no second chances. He deserves to be removed from the Parliament.’
Bhagyashree, a first year Political Science Student, lamented on how such people are making Hindu a shameful institution. After the Facebook apologies were put up, Bhagyashree boldly mocked these statements by putting up a photo on Instagram, a photo of her leg in a fishnet stocking writing ‘Comment karo ji’’. The Women’s Development Cell of Hindu College also made their displeasure evident through a post condemning the sexist statements.
It might seem like a minor unrest but in the end, it is connected to larger issues whose origin all lies in the attitudes of people. Would such casual sexism be eradicated through such active opposition from the students or would Hindu College continue to be defamed because of such chauvinistic attitudes? That, only the students and time will tell.