New rules imposed on the residents of the women’s hostel at Jamia Millia Islamia, which authorities believe they should follow “in their own best interest”, has not gone down well with some of them.
The new rules bar women residents from taking permission for ‘late nights’ and asks them to be back inside the hostel premises by 8 pm.
“Residents of the Hall of Girls are informed that no late night is allowed any more. You are, therefore, required to follow the norms, in your own best interests,” stated a notice from the varsity.
The new rules are not applicable to residents of the men’s hostels.
“Security and safety concerns” prompted the authorities to modify their earlier rules, said Mukesh Ranjan, public relations officer, Jamia Millia Islamia.
“This measure has been put in place keeping in mind security and safety concerns, especially with the nature of crimes that take place in the city. There is also the issue of attendance and fixed meal timings. With students reaching the hostel late, attendance cannot be taken at a fixed time. So a committee, which had been formed to look into this issue, came up with this measure. However, this does not mean that women students cannot be out with parents or their local guardian. The university can relax these rules on a case-to-case basis and in case there is an emergency,” he said.
The new rules have attracted the ire of a section of students, who found the measures sexist.
“All of us are adults. How can the university control our lives and tell us where to go and when to go because we are staying in the Jamia hostel? It is extremely humiliating. It seems that the university does not believe that I can take responsibility for myself,” said a post-graduate student.
The university authorities — who had cited concern about the security of their female students — were “hypocritical”, said another student. She also pointed out that Jamia Millia Islamia had starkly different rules for male and female students.
“If you look at the set of rules that are in place for women and men in the varsity, there is a stark difference between them. There is no issue of attendance or curfew timings for men. At the time of our hostel admission, our parents and local guardians are required to sign an understanding taking responsibility for our actions. The university prospectus has a disclaimer which says that authorities will have no liability towards the resident when she is outside the campus or when she is on leave from the hostel. Why are they suddenly bothered about our safety?” she said.