Posted by Kuhu Srivastava
A shameful incident took place in a college fest very dear to us Antaragni – the annual fest of IIT Kanpur. Please see for yourselves as we walk you through the incident. Women’s security was being compromised in one of the largest college festivals of India.
27th October, 2018, 01:15 AM the women of Ramjas College received a call allegedly by some local electricity board, claiming that there is some issue with the power supply and logistics. They asked for their hostel number which the women naturally refused to give. 30-35 minutes later the women were alarmed by sudden and constant banging on their doors. They got scared and didn’t answer but they constantly asked for the name and designation of the person at the door but no one answered.
30-35 minutes later the girls were alarmed by sudden and constant knocking on their doors.
The women immediately called the IIT security team who also sounded surprised by the turn of events. But they went on to calm the situation by saying that it was the Chief of Security who was banging on the door. This statement increased the apprehensions considering the fact that the women hadn’t called anyone from the security department after they received the call and the fact that the person banging on the door didn’t disclose his identity when asked for.
The students called the police and consequently the situation was deliberated upon as a result of which the students were promised new accommodation the next day. The male members of society decided to stay outside the girls hostel, waiting for some substantial steps to be taken. But in the morning around 06:30 AM, the chief guard entered the hostel with around 20 men and demanded the music society of Ramjas College to vacate the premises since they had called the police. They referred to the students as anti-social elements and as a major threat to the annual fest. The guards while talking to the women said, “Hume pata hai tum Delhi mei kaise rehti ho toh yaha scene mat banao” (I know how you all live in Delhi, so don’t overreact here). Students were pushed, abused, and threatened.
As a consequence the entire Ramjas delegation boycotted the fest and returned to Delhi. Furthermore, students from a few other colleges of University of Delhi who are well aware about the entire incident boycotted the event to show their support.
It surely is disheartening to acknowledge that all this took place in the midst of a fest which has been very close to our hearts for many years. The incident that took place was not regarding some drunken fight for slots or cheating or extra privileges, rather it was concerning something as basic as women’s safety.
What personally shook me to the core was the way the guards claimed that they knew how women in Delhi lived. All I can say is that even if they didn’t, the young men and women of Ramjas College gave them a clear understanding of how we women live in Delhi. We don’t stay shut inside while something wrong is happening outside. We aren’t afraid to voice our opinions and demand something as basic as security. We can’t settle with injustice. And we definitely can stand up for ourselves and our dignity.
Featured Image Source: DU Beat