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[UPDATE] VIT University Refuses To Act Even While Thousands Register Their Protest!

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By Nanditha Sankar:

When we brought to light the callous indifference of VIT University in dismissing two of their female students over an online survey that they had conducted with regard to gender discrimination, little did we realize that the impact would be so overwhelming. Here are some things that have come to pass since my previous article:

VIT1

1. The petition at change.org, seeking the University to call back the girls who were dismissed, has reached around 1500 signatures which has seen a massive rise of 800 signatures for change in just 3 days.

2. The brave soul who first filed this petition, Prof. Theodore Moallem, has been fired from the university. His movement has been restricted and he is required to meet with the Vellore police everyday.

3. Those students who have done so much as to even meet him ever since the expulsion have come under the gamut of investigations and questioning. Yet, the outpour of support from VIT students has been unprecedented, be it in the form of vocal support or social media upvotes through “likes” and “shares” on the article and also the online petition.

4. The focal point of all this attention, VIT, has turned a blind eye to all activities around its vicinity and not done so much as budge an inch either to revoke the expulsion order or acknowledge the clamour of protests.

Despite this bleak picture, we’ve seen some lining of silver along the darkened horizon. The positive responses to the petition have been overwhelming. Most of the responses to my article on the VIT issue were from people who were scared of letting their names out in public fearing that their academic tenure would be hacked for speaking out against their universities.

One person who wanted to uphold his anonymity for fear of the VIT, chose to call himself “asfdh” and took extreme measures such as using a proxy server and an incognito window to comment on the article. Oscar Wilde once said, “Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth”. Our voice behind the mask reiterated this statement by confirming that VIT was indeed a hermetic institution where pleas for assistance would only fall upon deaf ears. The comment says “Any problem we face in VIT, there is no one accountable for the mistakes of VIT. Whomever we ask for help says exactly “Am I responsible; then why are you asking me”. Another ex student from the same institute says that her idea of a fully-supportive research institute in VIT was shattered when she had to rush back to the hostel at 8 pm whether or not the work for the day had been completed.

While a lot of VIT students and ex-students have hit out at their alma mater, another interesting aspect comes up from other institute students who claim their stories are no different. Tarangini Kumar, a student of a top-ranked college in UP informs us how she was almost rusticated along with a couple of her friends for taking to the roads against the college.

Here’s a screenshot of the VIT Female Student Survey Results

Poll

These are only a few of the several voices that have been stirred to action as soon as they chanced upon this opportunity. But these numbers are not enough. If we are to tackle the issue of gender bias and unfair restrictions, each one of us would have to sign that petition. The story of student repression is universal. It so happened by chance that the story at VIT caught widespread attention. Everyday, unfair laws are used to rein in upon the pliable student population. In the words of a Social Media Manager who chose to remain anonymous to comment on this issue , “ While there is absolutely no doubt on the fact that what has happened in this situation is absolutely unjust, the administrators of this institution are committing what I’d like to refer to as a ‘Class A Screwup’. The more you try to cover up things, the more they come out. VIT administrators might chuck out a professor or two, but can they suspend the entire campus – when it comes out in arms? I doubt it”.

It is high time the centers of learning around us realized that their students make the institute, and they should have a democratic participation and representation in the functioning of the same.

You must be to comment.
  1. Ayush

    Is there a use of leaving comments here?? If they find out, what will they do??

    1. Nanditha.

      It helps us catch your pulse on this issue. 🙂 Other than that , it could give you an idea of what others have to say.

    2. nitin tripathi

      in adition to what namdita says … it will give u the courage to overcome ur fear and raise voice.

  2. Martha

    This is important to me because I wish I were dead instead of living life in constant fear and discrimination.

    Instead of instilling fear in the minds of rapists/teasers/stalkers by increasing security, the college authorities actually think they can change the society for the better by restricting women’s movement. This can only have one effect – exacerbating the current low condition of women in India.

    Why are women being restricted so much? Is it our fault that the society is unsafe? Are we lower than men in status, that our every move has to be controlled and monitored? Are we slaves?

    It is a catch 22 situation. If we don’t participate in extra-curricular activities, we are not prepared for the world. If we do try to indulge in activities in multiple spheres, the college restricts us.

    How are we ever going to raise equal societies for the future if the present is marred with serious inequalities and imposition on ‘free’ speech, a constitutional and moral right?

    If the activities/competitions require going to far-off places, and the destination is potentially unsafe for women, the college must arrange buses/transport to these places for girls, in particular, and all students, in general.

    There MUST be justice delivered NOW, before it is too late.

    We DO NOT want girls living in a false sense of ‘freedom’ where even going to a nearby food stall or drink-vendor is a complicated, humiliating and degrading procedure.

    These browbeaten girls may just go on to teach their daughters that they are ‘meant to’ live their lives in silence and fear.

    AND THIS IS DANGEROUS TO THE WORLD SOCIETY AS A WHOLE.

  3. S.D.P

    Why are you getting crazy for this issue.

    This is what a sensible people or any college will do.

    Can anyone of you tell us what does she want to do after 8 pm. What wrong VIT is doing if they are informing parents if their wards are going out after 8pm.

    Donot be crazy boys. After 8PM even we do not send our girls outside. Vellore is not a Metrolpolitan city.

    Please donot stop this crazy talk. This is not something right you are talking about. This is something you guys are crazy to all wrong doing.

    Can anyone tell what is wrong?????

    Can anyone tell what is wrong?????

    Can anyone tell what is wrong?????

    Can anyone tell what is wrong?????

    Does she want to smoke,roam,drink with boys. What are so important work which cannot be done before 8pm. Anyone have seen that college. It is such a lonely place. if she is so desperate she can live outside and do what ever she wants.

    Crazy people!!!!!!!!

    1. nitin tripathi

      lets just say … just for the sake of argument that she want to smoke drink and roam with boys …….. who is a collage to do moral policing …….. and its more about equality than safety…. but i know u wont understand u need to have a basic sense of understanding of the word EQUALITY which u dont

    2. Ila

      Hey can you the tell me what boys want to do outside the campus after 8 pm? Rape, smoke, drink, hang out with whores? This is not our culture. How can Bo’s go out and do all this? This is wrong! This is wrong! This is wrong!
      Everybody should be inside the campus after 8.
      Because the only activities that are possibly after 8 are rape, sex, drink, drugs and smoking.
      So from tomorrow don’t get out of your house at 8 because then I will assume that you are one of the me who goes out and indulges in all this.
      This is wrong! This is wrong! This is wrong!
      Ohh and in case you didn’t already – please feel free to SPOT THE SARCASM !

  4. Srikanta Raju

    Just waste of time…

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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