Of course, by now we’re not really surprised to find out that Indian hostels discriminate against women in frustrating, unfair and possibly illegal ways, but it’s hard not to raise your eyebrows at the crazy extents and specifics to which some hostels go. Like when we recently found out that in addition to an arbitrary and unfair curfew, women students at Banaras Hindu University are also not allowed to eat non-vegetarian food in the hostel, unlike male students who don’t face a similar rule.
Now, Jamia Millia Islamia is taking up the baton, with its new rule that not only discriminates against women students, but also between their parents! The new rule, which has been communicated orally to students, state that women students need to have their parents send their wardens a text message if they plan to spend the night away from hostel. The message should communicate that the parents give their permission for the night out, and indicate the students name and hostel room number. This rule applies to all female students, including undergraduate and post graduate students and research scholars. Boys in the university face no such rule.
Crazier still, the students are advised to have their fathers send this text message instead of their mothers, as the “university feels the mother can easily be “manipulated”.
The university defended the new rule to DNA India by saying it was a “disciplinary rule”, not a discriminatory one, and has been put in place after women were found saying they would be at their local guardians’ houses when they were in fact not. This is the university’s attempt to “keep parents in the loop”, or to basically form a nexus between parents and the institution to most effectively and comprehensively curb the freedom and movement of adult women students. Happy days.