I am reminded today of Malaysia, a perfectly happy society slowly being divided by the over-enthusiasm of fundamentalism. Only to be reminded of my alma mater. Making a case for the educated minority while still reinforcing the same things that have held an entire section back for ages now.
Jamia administration rolled back their relaxation in girls hostel curfew timings. Hardly a surprise. The matter of discussion is not how the curfew went to a toss. The matter of discussion is what is that keeps this administration of the ‘16th best University of the country’ ,’No. 1 Outlook Mass Communication’ still breathing under a rock.
It isn’t simply a case of liberty of women. What over-enthusiasm has made of the piousness that was at the heart of Islam is an entire different discussion over all. It is about the same predicament that if contradicted produces life altering results. It isn’t that the Jamia administration is scared for women’s safety that live in the hostels merely, what threatens them the most is “What if nothing goes wrong?” It is hard enough to explain misogyny that is ingrained in this orthodoxy yet. It would be harder to explain why would there be no liberation in the absence of any misgiving.
To prove this point to place, consider the same. Before the entire protest and the relaxation that succeeded, women hostelers went back to their house arrests by 8 P.M. There were no incidents or mishappenings that ever overplayed under that regime. After the 10:30 P.M. curfew timings, still nothing changed. There was no hullabaloo. It would hardly be a surprise if girls didn’t do anything if there was no curfew at all. That is the exact thought that haunts them. Of how to explain misogyny when nothing went according to their assumption.
Jamia is my favorite place. Until something of this sorts take place. Right after the victory march post protests, I heard a gardener near the MCARS mouthing to a bull “Have all the whores gone back to their whore-houses?” Just that he left before I could say anything. This is Jamia. They are tolerant. They are secular. They are definitely not not sexist.
The same gardener will have a daughter someday studying in the same institution, fighting for the same rights, singing along the same march. 21 year olds, asking for time. Time to breathe, to see, to love, to tolerate. Jamia administration proves yet again that they would rather have weed smoking kids all over the campus, coming in and going out as they like of the University, drugging the entire air of the University than girls who can walk around freely. That the guards would rather Moral Police than actually stop non-University personnel from smoking marijuana inside campus. This entire world within 50 meters of each other.
At a time where the country is greatly divided between the oppressor and the oppressed, Jamia administration sneakily plays yet another monopoly. Irony being, they are supposed to be the flag bearers of modernity and Islamic tolerance. What they end up being is what exactly the regime wants them to be. Only that there isn’t much difference between either now.
It is a spineless thing to do, change the promised curfew timings back to house arrests in the holiday season and make them sign undertakings for living, breathing, talking, eating and NOT protesting when they object to the shoe that jabs their jugular. It is shameful and spineless.
In an environment of objectification and slut shaming regularly, this would be a rather sensitive moment to sympathize with the girl students and hostelers in Jamia. We as Jamians have heads hanged in shame. The administration would be held responsible soon enough. This would not be met with silence this time. Women ask for fundamental rights. If the right would be derived then all the suffering might seem justified.
“For women are not mature enough to stay out until 10:30 P.M.” is another famous statement by a henceforth unnamed authority. Men on the other hand can come and go as they please. Let us not bullshit ourselves as if there is no problem here. Not anymore. It is a shameless, spineless, unrespectable and unhonorable thing to do. To tell women they are inferior, by men and women alike. To be called whores and sluts by many a authority when opposed to the same. Let us not bullshit ourselves anymore.
Jamia’s administration was never known to be any good. Stooping to a new low is yet another achievement. All we have to wait is now to someone to publicly acknowledge this bullshit, or as always, generalise it to trivialise the “pointless” lives of women in Jamia.
B.A Eng. Hons., Jamia Millia Islamia.
Read THIS IS JUST A BEGINNING.
(An Interview Report by Shehwaaz Khan on the recent protest undertaken by girls hosteler against unjust curfew timings. )