In 7 Tweets, ‘Pinjra Tod’ Reveals The Rampant Sexism In India’s Colleges

Posted on October 6, 2016 in Cake News, Sexism And Patriarchy

By Cake Staff:

Universities are supposed to be mature and liberal spaces where young people, often living apart from their families, finally come into their own as thinking and doing individuals. However, these perks seem to be divided up along the lines of various identity markers like caste, disability, and gender – each of which decide how much access a person may have. And back in September, 2015, a group of women students in Delhi decided to do something about it.

It started with a guerrilla postering campaign, by a group known only as “Pinjra Tod” (break the cage) followed by a Jan Sunwai (or People’s Hearing), to protest oppressive rules that colleges, hostels, paying guest accommodation and flats had earmarked for women in the name of “protection.” Their actions even prompted the University Grants Commission directive prohibiting the imposition of shaming dress codes and hostel curfews on women students. While celebrating the anniversary of their formation, Pinjra Tod members and activists proved their mettle once more by shutting down and driving out men from the right wing student group ABVP, who arrived to harass them at their own night march. Women students in Indian universities have to encounter patriarchal roadblocks at nearly every turn, and this is precisely what this collective was formed to address.

So today, during a Twitter chat with Genderlog India (which crowdsources conversations on gender and related topics) Pinjra Tod delved right into these issues.

On How The University Simply Takes On The Role Of The Patriarch:

And Relies On The Support Of The Patriarch As Well:

On How Women Are Restricted Using Casteist And Classist Logic:

On How Shrinking Spaces Keep Women Away From Campus Politics:

On How Infrastructure Fails Women:

Some Of The Rules Women Are Made To Live With:

And Finally, On How Oppression Is Multilayered, But:

Back then, no one could have predicted that this would have exploded into a massive, pan-university feminist struggle, except that it did. Pinjra Tod’s efforts (which also include getting colleges to implement the UGC directive) necessarily spill beyond university spaces, as they tackle issues that are thoroughly entrenched in our society. Today, they continue to be an inspiring force for us – after all, nothing terrifies the patriarchy than young women leading the charge against it.

Featured Image Source: Pinjra Tod/Facebook.