This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Javaid Alam. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

At This University, The Library Is Open Till Midnight But Only For Boys

By Javaid Alam:

At a time when protests are happening in Delhi about the attitude of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) towards its women hostel residents, I feel it is our duty to see what is going in other institutions of higher education. Fortunately for JMI, it is in Delhi and gets media attention immediately. Had it been in any other part of the country perhaps no one would have cared. Sexist rules in Indian universities are not uncommon, although they may vary in degree, the attitude is present in all of our higher education institutes.

Far away from JMI, in the south is Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad. Forget about basic amenities, no news comes out of this University. Some people consider it to be their fiefdom, others think it is a religious institute. This elite class who think it to be their fiefdom are hell bent on bringing arbitrary rules from time to time to make the life of resident students difficult. The other class who think that it is a religious institute, more precisely a Muslim institute, are collaborators to this elite class in bringing such changes.

maulana azad national urdu university
Image source: Läbèèb Lâbi Pâthirämànná /Facebook


Jamia’s recent circular bars its women residents from nights out. Forget about nights out, women residents in Maulana Azad National Urdu University are not allowed to move out of the University after 6:30 in the evening. And in case if a woman resident wants to go out of the University past 6: 30 in the evening she has to take permission three days in advance. After the permission is sought, they have to sign at the three different places, one inside hostel, at the hostel gate and then at the main gate of the University. One can only imagine what happens when there is an emergency. After she leaves, a student is required to call the hostel warden to inform that she has reached the spot for which permission had been sought, and once she returns she has to call again. Some readers at this point may think – why is it so difficult to sign at three different places? We need to understand that this is a central university and not a prison.

University’s women residents are not allowed to go to the library after 6:00 PM, although it remains open till midnight – it is a male privilege. These students are also not allowed to go to the canteen or the indoor sports stadium.

For the past few days, students have been protesting and demanding a gender equality on campus with other demands pertaining to their welfare. However, a section of students who have their vested interests and have patronage from some of the faculty members have been protesting against any freedom for women residents. Most of the time, the logic behind forcing women students to stay indoor is their protection. But if protection means locking female students inside the hostel then we should be ashamed of our educational institutes. It is pertinent to mention here that on 12th of this month when students tore the registers that regulate the women’s freedom the administration reacted by withdrawing the security from the women hostel.

To counter the protests, the administration has started maligning and criminalizing students by registering complaints against them in local police station. When such tactics didn’t work, then a group of students was pitched against the protesting students. These students even intimidated and harassed few of the women students who have been taking part in the protest.

In the recent past although the stories have started to come out in public about gender discrimination, so far our university administration has not issued any statement that assures the women freedom on campus. To counter such regressive rules across the university, student communities across India should come in support and show solidarity to the protesting students who have been demanding the gender equal campus at Maulana Azad National Urdu University.

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You must be to comment.
  1. The Game

    Another idiot without any common sense, creating an issue out of nothing to win people’s sympathy by writing in favour of women.

  2. B

    Where is your voice about the sexist rules in schools when boys are beaten and girls get away with a warning over the same mistakes?

  3. Jigsaw

    You indulge in sexism when you say ‘women’ hostel residents intead of using the word ‘female’, but have no hesitancy in using the word ‘male’.

  4. Batman

    It isn’t about until when the library is open for boys – it is about seeking attention by douchebag feminists who have nothing better to do. It is about ratings. That is why when 133 boys were killed in Peshawar the media used the term ‘schoolchildren’ to avoid revealing the gender since only women’s issues create sensation and TRPs. We get it – only women are human beings.

  5. Spider-Man

    Jeez! Isn’t it sexism that men have to earn for women but women are under no such obligation?

    1. K

      It is sexism when men are compelled to become earning members and women just housewives. By all means go ahead and bring it up. It will be a relief for both men and women. Breaking these hetero-normative gender roles is also a feminist fight

  6. Monistaf

    These are all adult women and as grown women, should take responsibility for their own safety. For the university to stop infantilizing women, the women, and possibly their parents must absolve the university of all responsibility for their safety. Once they do that, I do not think the university will have any problem with treating them equal to the boys. We all know, though, the very first time a girl is victimized, everyone (Parents, press and feminists) will first blame the authorities for not doing enough to protect the girls. No body gives a damn what happens to boys in the university. In this world of equality, If we can all have the same attitude towards girls, I am sure they won’t have a problem with keeping the library open for everyone.

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Find out more about her campaign here.

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