Published: 05th April 2021
Why were shirtless men 'parading' in front of JNU's womens' hostel on Holi?
As this brazen act of obscenity was taking place, not a single guard assigned to these hostels came forward to stop this from happening, alleged the JNU students
Even though there have been no significant protests by students or the JNU Students' Union at the varsity, Women of JNU, a students' group at the Jawaharlal Nehru University has been discussing an uncouth incident that took place inside the educational institution on Holi.
According to students and the womens' group in JNU, shirtless men were found parading within the premises of women's hostels inside the JNU campus on the day of Holi. "As this brazen act of obscenity was taking place, not a single guard assigned to these hostels came forward to stop this from happening. This incident has raised questions, not only for the JNU administration but also for the men residing within this campus. When women students outraged about the incident, many male students, presumably participants of the parade, have claimed that the parade was 'an entertaining event for the girls residing in the hostels, and had they been uncomfortable, they would have reported their discomfort immediately to these men'," the Women of JNU group said in a statement on Monday.
"A group of at least 30 men who were shirtless, it has been a common practice to take off shirts in JNU but march and parade around like this is something we haven't seen before inside the girls' hostel premises. Girls present there told us they were intimidated by these actions and scared too. When we began having a discussion about this incident and saying that it is not acceptable, we have also faced backlash from a few of the guys. They told us that if the women were uncomfortable why didn't they come up and tell us at that point. Students in the hostels reported to the guards stationed there but nobody did anything. Earlier there was GSCASH but now there's ICC. Generally, when such incidents come to light, these committees are supposed to take Suo moto cognizance not that you have to go and complain. They will report all kinds of protests happening on campus but how can they not report such mass obscenity? This is the question students are asking. We are now formally trying to get those students who witnessed it to file a written complaint but they are quite hesitant," JNU Students' Union Councillor Apeksha Priyadarshini, who is also a part of Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students' Organisation told us.
Students have questioned the administration on how these men could parade outside women's hostels in broad daylight without any fear of facing any consequences for their actions. "The erosion that the ethos of this campus has faced ever since the GSCASH was dismantled by the JNU administration is palpable in the everyday violation of safe spaces for women and persons of oppressed genders. It is time that there is a conscious attempt by the JNU community to reflect on the deterioration of gender sensitivity on this campus and thwart the constant attempts by such men to threaten, vilify and mock women's movements and to establish their dominance in public places by displaying a show of their toxic masculinity through such acts," read a statement on the group's Facebook page. "Any and every student indulging in such acts must realise the gravity of the dangerous precedence they are setting of normalizing misogyny, harassment and fuelling the existent oppressive system of brahminical patriarchy in our society," the women's group added.
We tried reaching out to the administration, they haven't responded yet. This copy will be updated if/when they respond.