From the Viewsroom

Hostile attitude

Preeti Mehra | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 13, 2016

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Curbing women’s freedom won’t ensure their safety

Could it possibly be a normal and just world if half the population has to remain behind closed doors after sunset every day? It’s almost as if they are living in a war zone where a curfew is imposed. This unfortunately is what women who join institutions of higher education and stay in college hostels are subjected to. And these restrictions are ostensibly imposed for their own safety.

Remember we are referring here to young adults who have already finished their schooling and are not children anymore. But managements of educational institutions seem to forget this cardinal fact. To live in a women’s hostel in India means having to adhere to a list of strict rules. However, male students are not subjected to any such rules or restrictions. The campaign for equal rights by women students christened ‘Pinjra Tod’, literally meaning ‘breaking the bars’, for a second year in succession in the north and south campus of Delhi University has stirred a lot of passion among young women and angst in a section of men.

It is not Delhi University alone that follows such a repressive regime. This kind of diktat curbing the freedom of young adults is followed by educational institutions from Chandigarh to Chennai. This gross unequal treatment of the genders has been practiced for years and been questioned by women generation after generation. But Indian society has not become adult enough to realise that ‘securing women’ is not the way to address a distortion that exists in a patriarchal society governed by the male mindset vis-a-vis women. It is never considered that the less women are seen in public spaces such as the streets, shopping areas, parks or in public transport, the more they will be targeted by men when they do dare to venture out. Nor is it considered that in other parts of the modern world adult students, may they be women or men, who attend universities live a normal life without such backward restrictions. They take responsibility for their academic achievements and personal freedom as it should be.

It is time we did a serious rethink on the issue.

Associate Editor

Published on October 13, 2016
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