For the first time in its 101-year-long history, Banaras Hindu University now has a (hurriedly appointed) woman proctor, Royona Singh. She was appointed to the post after her predecessor, ON Singh, resigned taking “moral responsibility” for Saturday’s lathi charge against protesting university students.
Students at BHU did dismiss his resignation as a “farce and eyewash”, but some good seems to have come of the move. The new proctor has already explicitly regretted the victim-shaming remarks made by the warden at BHU to a first year student who was molested on campus, which was what set off the massive protests there last Thursday. She’s also categorically said that under her, there will be no restrictions on women students regarding alcohol, dress, diet (women at BHU weren’t allowed to eat non-vegetarian food), curfews or exit restrictions.
She also told the Times of India, “As far as female issues are concerned, I would be more sensitive. And women would be more comfortable sharing things with a female.”
Hilariously, TOI seems to attribute her views to the fact that she was born in France. The first paragraph of their report on this new development mentions that she’s named after the French town she was born in, Royan, but fails to mention her actual name. In fact, it didn’t get to her name until the third paragraph of the story. Singh, too, seems weirdly preoccupied with her birthplace. She was quoted saying, “I was born in Europe. I frequently travel to Europe and Canada. Putting a dressing restriction on girls would be like imposing it on myself.”
Not exactly the greatest reasons to allow women access to just their basic fundamental rights.