Aligarh Muslim University’s female students stand against discriminatory hostel rules

Written by | October 18, 2016 | 0

Sometime October  last year, a graffiti scrawled at the sidewalk of the faculty of arts in the north campus, caught the attention of the most oblivious passerby. A silhouette of girl; painted red, rested on the floor, with a message accompanying it – loud and clear: “I am out tonight!”

This was part of the campaign called ‘Pinjra Tod’ started by the female students of different colleges and universities in the Delhi, against the discriminatory hostel rules; the most significant being the ‘curfew timing’ in girls hostels which disallowed female students from staying out late.

It was a protest against the ‘discriminatory rules’ that applied only to female students; rules that automatically made male students the privileged lot.

A year on to the campaign, the discrimination remains in various universities across the country and now the protest has reached to Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

The women hostel dwellers of AMU are now posing resistance to what a student remarked as “ against the demeaning moral policing at the hands of the hostel administration”.

The Indira Gandhi Hall (one of the girl’s hostel of AMU ) is witnessing a clash between the students and the Provost starting from the eve of the big event organised at AMU on the birth anniversary of Sir Syed Day, which is celebrated every year on 17 October. This is the first major stand that the female students of the university have taken since the Students Union was formed on 13 October 2016 in which girls had actively participated.

Large numbers of AMU female students have been protesting since Sunday morning demanding the resignation of Farrukh Arjumand, the Provost of Indira Gandhi Hall. Over 500 girls have signed the petition and the demand list and about 400 girls have been sitting on ‘dharna’ for the last two days and two nights.

A few girls also slept out in the open through the night. The second night saw hungry protesters as most of the Indira Gandhi Hall girls boycotted the dinner on the much-celebrated occasion of Sir Syed Day.

The reasons behind the protest have been a series of alleged untoward remarks and behaviour of the hostel administration. There has been seething anger among the students towards the inconvenient rules-regulations and public shaming of the hostel girls at the hands of the authority.


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