Delhi Commission for Women has sought a reply from the Vice Chancellor of the Jamia Milia Islamia University for its recent circular barring entry to girls entering their hostel past 8 pm. The University has imposed strict rules for the Girls Hostel, something which the affected students are terming 'sexist' as no such rules have been imposed on the boys. The commission has sought a response from the university within seven days.
In a letter addressed to Vice Chancellor Prof Talat Ahmad, DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal pointed out that the latest rules imposed on girls are discriminatory . She also stated that even though the rules were imposed for the safety and security of the students, but completely disallowing them to enter after 8 pm may put them at greater risk.
Maliwal also mentioned that DCW has the authority to investigate and examine matters related to the safety and security of women. " In the light of this, I would appreciate that you provide a copy of the previous guidelines with regard to the hostel timing as well as explain the reasons for imposing such restrictions on girl students within seven days of the receipt of the letter," said the letter (as quoted by The Tribune ).
Jamia students have been up in arms ever since the rules were imposed. They believe the rules are sexist and discriminatory, not to mention completely archaic and impractical. "Its is suffocating to the say the least," an MPhil student told ScoopWhoop.
The student who refused to be named said a reason for imposing these rules could be that the students staying in the hostel vary in age. "There are a number of students at the hostel who are still in school and therefore the hostel is trying to impose rules that will apply to everyone," the student said.
Prior to this rule change students were required to return to their hostel around the same time, however, they were allowed to have two late nights a month - this involved being out until 10 pm - after getting written permission from their guardians.
The idea that responsible adults need written permission from their guardians to stay out until 10 pm seems slightly ridiculous, the fact that even this has been barred by the University authorities is simply ludicrous.
But what choice do these students have? Upon asking the MPhil student if she would consider leaving the hostel due to these rules, she simply stated, "This involves a lot more than my own will". There are a number of issues that come into question, most students cannot afford to live outside hostels in Delhi. Then there is the problem of safety, the majority of parents would not be comfortable with girls living alone in a city as dangerous and violent as the national capital.
By restricting their movement the university is not only implying that the students are unable to look after themselves but it is infringing on their right to personal freedom - something the student will not stand for. The Vice Chancellor is expected to reply to the DCW within a week, and give a viable reason as to why the renowned institute is enforcing such rules.