Girls (Still) Shall Not Walk
Sep 05, 2016 | Anonymous
Last year, as a female student of NITR I used this platform to rant about certain unnecessary and intrusive security measures that were being imposed. One year later, not only has the situation grown considerably worse – it has also started becoming a direct attack on our personal spaces and lives.
The other day, a few friends of mine were caught walking within the campus, well after the in-time. While it is not uncommon for students to do so, the Chief Warden thought it was his personal duty to ensure that these boarders reached the safety of their hostels. While, my parents may have entitled him to impose certain rules on me and remind me of what they are, I do not think they have burdened him with the responsibility of parenting every student at NITR. Students who flout the in-time rules are certainly deserving of the punishment that it entails but are most certainly not expected to be stopped and told how ‘disgusting’ it is that they should be outside their rooms at such ungodly hours.
Another new menace includes, students who work late into the night with their male club members are caught by the Chief Warden. He not only refuses to listen to any of their reasoning but proceeds to call up their parents to inform them of her ‘inappropriate activities’, late at night with ‘a lot of boys’.
“As long as the in-time was a safety concern I managed to swallow it like a bitter pill – but this sudden introduction of a moral policing of sorts leaves me feeling nothing but resentment.”
On several other instances, we have been disallowed from entering into the academic area after midnight, and I find it rather disturbing that my institution cannot even assure me security within the safe haven of the most well-lit, well-patrolled corners of the campus. No matter what reasons a student has, no matter how important the work might be, it seems that girls simply will not be allowed to stay outside – not because it’s a safety concern, but because it is a moral concern.
A recently passed circular by the HMC states that a girl is allowed only three late entries and after the fourth, she will be ‘thrown’ out of the hostel. I’m not sure if the authorities understand how ridiculous such a statement sounds, especially since my hostel fees and seat rent have been paid in advance for a whole semester. In addition, if the major concern that they have is to assure the security of all boarders, ‘throwing’ them out altogether seems like an easy way of shirking responsibilities.
A statement issued by a person in a position of power, recently, said that providing security for students who violate rules and regulations is a ‘tough job’. I cannot help but ask him if security personnel is hired by the fees that students pay, or if students are supposed to actively work towards making the jobs of security personnel smoother? Another circular posted outside C.V. Raman Hall of Residence states that arguing with guards will result in severe consequences. While it is understandable that students are not supposed to misbehave with guards, I cannot help but feel that authorities have no intentions of protecting students from the misdemeanor of the guards.
NITR right now is a chaotic mess of affairs, where people are going out of their way to impose their personal belief on students, and neglecting the duties of their office, altogether.
“My only question to you, remains – as a mature, responsible adult, training to contribute to the technological advancement of my country, am I not to be trusted with even with my own well being?”
Yes, you can tell my parents that I stayed out late or flouted your orchestrated in time, but who gave you the right to make a judgment of my character based on the company that I keep? Who gave you the right to pass a statement about my moral compass because it did not point the same direction as yours? Who gave you the right to decide what was right and wrong for me, based on your 18th-century outlook towards where a girl should be at what time of the night?
Authorities are unwilling to see reason, unwilling to hear any reasoning or logic and are unwilling to communicate with students on a frank basis. Circulars and notices come up, to tell us about revised rules and regulations that tighten around our necks like a noose, while we struggle for just a little bit more freedom. While the rest of India progresses towards a better tomorrow, NITR seems to be reeling backwards into the dark ages where once again, the sentinels of Moral Police gather around you, and parade you in a walk of shame because, ‘Girls Simply Must Not Walk’ at certain times, at certain places – or maybe just in general.