The festival of Holi is more of a community one where friends, family, and literally everyone gets together, play with colors, and have fun in each other’s company. However, it is something else when that is prevented by authorities without any valid reason.
This is what irked many female students of Delhi University after a particular women’s hostel gave out a notice that not only forbade outside guests and visitors from entering its premises but even kept the residents themselves under lock and only allowed them to leave after 6 pm yesterday.
This resulted in a lot of female students protesting for hours against this unfair rule since allegedly there didn’t seem to be any such restrictions placed on the boy’s hostel.
What Was The Protest About?
On 7th March 2023, a day before Holi, the section officer of the Rajiv Gandhi Hostel for Girls (RGHG) located in Mukherjee Nagar, North Campus DU sent out a notice that said “Residents can only go out after 6 pm on 8th March and no guests/visitors would be allowed on the day of Holi festival.”
DU proctor Rajni Abbi, was quoted by The Indian Express saying that “This is nothing new… If students want to go somewhere, they can give an undertaking that they are going on their own responsibility. It cannot be that students want the protection of the hostel and their independence as well…”
“The notice has been circulated to both the boys and the girls hostels, but with girls we are a little overprotective… in the sense that it is a kind of a responsibility… We don’t want to restrict anyone from playing Holi, but it should be done in the right spirit.”
According to Abbi, she did not have any knowledge of the hostel gates being locked and claimed that it was just the RGHG and Undergraduate Hostel for Girls (UHG) residents that were creating these ‘problems’.
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This was not met well by the students who expressed instant protest against the unfair and slightly sexist rules because as it was claimed by some later on, the boy’s hostel did not receive any such notice.
As per reports a resident of the International Student’s House (hostel for male students) stated that “We have not received any notice regarding restrictions of entry and exit. We have only received a notice stating there won’t be lunch and the mess will be closed.” Another from the Jubilee Hall hostel said that “We have not received any notice on restrictions.”
The female residents of RGHG instantly started protesting, marching inside the hostel complex, demanding that they be allowed to celebrate holi freely and without baseless restrictions like these.
Dipanshi, a final year MA history student and resident of RGHG hostel said in a Hindustan Times report that “We were planning to celebrate the International Women’s Day but we have been locked inside the hostel. We cannot even step out to interact with our peers in other hostels on the campus where similar restrictions have been imposed. No restrictions have been imposed on the boys’ hostel.”
She also revealed how students were pressured into signing the undertaking with threats of disciplinary action “They are seeking details of family members and contact numbers. Even if students have to step out for collecting food, they are being asked to sign an undertaking.”
Another RGHG resident, Saima Zafar, a final-year student of Masters in Spanish spoke how “As soon as we got the notice, we expressed our dissent. Just because we are girls, you can’t lock us up. We had a meeting with hostel authorities last week, post which the administration said students can leave by signing an undertaking.” “This is not the first time this has happened, but our point is if you have oppressed us before, you can’t oppress us again.”
But finally, after hours of protesting, the residents of the RGHG hostel were allowed to step out. As one student explained “After continuous protest from the girls of RGHG since March 2, the hostel authorities had assured that the gate would not be locked on the day of Holi. Instead, they came up with a discriminatory and intimidating undertaking. On March 8, 2023, on the day of Holi, the authorities locked the gates.”
Image Credits: Google Images
Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth
Sources: India Today, The Indian Express, Hindustan Times
Find the blogger: @chirali_08
This post is tagged under: DU girl students, holi, DU girl students holi, Rajiv Gandhi Hostel for Girls, du women’s hostel, du women hostel restrictions, du women hostel protest, Rajiv Gandhi Hostel for Girls protest, Rajiv Gandhi Hostel for Girls holi, holi celebration, delhi university
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