Sunday, April 28, 2019

Coops and cages

Citizens old enough not only to vote but also to marry and have children (some of them even old enough to contest parliamentary elections) were locked in, unable to participate in the cultural and academic life of the university. These were adult women who could not take a walk around the lawns or eat a meal off campus without written permission from local guardians.

All Indian colleges and universities insist on a “guardian” rather than a local emergency point of contact for undergraduate, graduate and even doctoral scholars. This guardian decides whether or not a student can watch a movie or attend a workshop.

The sexism extends to guardians too. A college teacher wrote in to say that when a friend’s daughter needed a local guardian, she volunteered. However, Daulatram College hostel refused on the grounds that she was single; in addition, she was treated to a lecture on the “morals of womanhood”.

Read my essay on women students across India breaking hostel curfews and demanding that colleges change the rules. Full text here:


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