Colleges, Universities & Sexism
In yet another incident of moral policing, it was announced that women students of St. Xavier’s college will not be allowed to wear shorts during the college festival Malhar. The principal apparently cited security reasons for the same! However, within 2 days reports came in that students were allowed to wear knee length shorts & pants (we don’t know what the difference is!), which was the organizing committee dress code.
Last week, Jamia Millia Islamia declared a curfew on the girls hostel – girls who were earlier allowed nights out until 10 PM twice a month, had to now come back to the hostel by 8 PM. This was instantly reported on the Jamia Journal, a student run news website of the institution. Now, the Delhi Commission for Women wrote to the Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia asking for reasons behind such a decision.
A student of the Delhi University (DU) has accused a non-teaching staff of Atma Ram Sanatan Dharm College (ARSD) of sending derogatory messages. Last week, there was a student agitation following this since students accused that the principal was trying to shield the accused. The staff member was suspended after that.
And, the St Stephen’s professor, accused of harassing & assaulting a research scholar pursuing PhD under him, told the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) that the complaint against him was a fallout of his objection to the girl’s poor performance during the research. You should read the entire history of the case here.
In Shahjahanpur, two brothers hacked their sister to death in full public view, following an altercation with her over her relationship with a man. The girl was 17.
In a verdict on a similar case of honour killing that happened more than a decade ago, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Vikas Yadav, his cousin Vishal and Sukhdev Pehalwan in the 2002 Nitish Katara murder case. Vikas & Vishal are UP politician DP Yadav’s son and nephew respectively. In 2002, they murdered Nitish Katara as they did not approve of his relationship with DP Yadav’s daughter, Bharti.
Surveys & Data
The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan recently released a survey titled, “Seeking Justice Within Family: A National Study on Muslim Women’s Views on Reforms in Muslim Personal Law“. According to his survey, more than 92% of the 4,710 Muslim women surveyed, mostly from disadvantaged communities, wanted a total ban on verbal or unilateral divorce, while 91.7 percent did not want their husbands to marry another woman while already married.
In 2014, the police in Maharashtra apprehended 7,228 juveniles under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of which 226 were apprehended on charges of rape. Across India, 633 boys aged between 12 and 16 were held for rape.
Rape & The ‘Mis’Understanding Of It
Former UP Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav, expressed his misogyny yet again by saying, “One commits rape and then four more are named. Kabhi aisa ho sakta hai kya? Aisa practical hi nahin hai. (Can such a thing happen? It is impractical).” Taking cognizance of the statement, the local courts have summoned him On September 16th.
In light of the misogyny expressed by politicians in UP, a 15-year-old girl was gang-raped by six people in front of her parents in Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj district. She is now in a critical condition in a hospital.
According to National Crime Reports Bureau’s annual report (2014), almost 90% of rapes in India were committed by people known to the victims such as relatives, neighbours and employers.
The National Human Rights Commission has found several deficiencies in the investigation of the rape of a nun in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, in June this year. The state government had failed to take relief measures and the statements doubting the survivor’s version of the incident exposed lack of understanding of survivor rights. You can read about the chronology of the crime and report here.
Delhi is once again in the limelight following the murder of a 23-year old girl. Her naked body was found in a bush near her house at Aman Vihar. Police suspect that the woman was raped.
A Culture & System Of Misogyny
In a recent incident at Nagpur, a 3 year old rape survivor had to wait 5 hours for medical examination. This was because doctors & medical staff had to take up other emergency cases and the patient-staff ratio is terribly skewed. This is yet another indication of how rape survivors face severe troubles not just through the incident, but by all other procedures following it.
The Bench of the Madras High Court recently supported a man who filed criminal revision petition pleading that he need not pay Rs 1,000 per month as alimony to his wife from whom he had obtained an ex-parte divorce on allegations that she was adulterous. Invoking Section 125 (4) of the CrPC that states that a wife involved in adultery or one who refuses to live with husband without sufficient reasons is not entitled for alimony, Justice S Nagamuthu said, “If the wife wants to retain her right to claim maintenance from her former husband, she is expected to maintain the same discipline as she was expected during her marital ties.”
Pratidin Time, a local news channel in Assam, ran a video segment about how girls in Guwahati are wearing shorts (also colloquially called ‘half pants’) these days and how that’s a sign of decadence.
In a positive step, Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria has effectively ordered police officials to avoid interfering with couples, both young and old, roaming together in malls, public parks and beaches, he has also asked them not to enter hotel rooms and flats to take action against couples. The same order also tells them not to criticise or make suggestions as to how citizens should behave and what they should wear and also reminds them that they have no authority to intrude on a citizen’s privacy and individual freedom.
Right To Dissent
In the ongoing crisis at FTII, 15+ students were arrested through FIR lodged by the director against the students. These students included 3 girl students, who were arrested without any woman officer/ constable. After students roped in a lawyer who objected to police trying to arrest the female students post midnight, they were let go of.
Featured Image: An image of Mulayam Singh Yadav speaking | www.india.com