There are many popular beliefs in our society about girls in national institutions like CEPT, NID. There is a lot of mix crowd in these colleges with students from all over the country. There is a certain perception about girls in these colleges, people believe that they are loose in character.
On the other side, there have been instances where these girls are eve-teased and harassed only because they are from NID and CEPT. Perhaps there is a novelty element attached to it, perhaps it is because they are from different states. They stand outside the NID gates, waiting for girls to come out walking. Interestingly another national institute CEPT sees the same kind of attraction from eve teasers. There is this sense of entitlement taken by the perpetrators. What they are actually doing is that, they are violating the trust that the parents of these girls have put on us as a city, ‘a safe city’ for their girls.
It is believed that students of these colleges are smokers, drinkers, sleeping around with different people, ‘available’, inviting attention, and going against the so called Indian culture. There is a stereotype about these guys being the ‘bad boys’ but it is even worse for the girls. When girls are perceived to be of ‘loose character’ it somehow justifies the act of violating them. Whether they are into these things or not- is not the question, does it discount them from their basic rights as citizens of this country? How does a supposed comment on a girl’s character bring down the valid point that she’s trying to make? These are perhaps the same kind of people who would blame the victim in a rape case, “Oh, but she was out late at night.”
In the recent JNU protest, a Haryana BJP leader found it important to stress that the female protestors at JNU were worse than prostitutes. Connecting the dots, who are these self-proclaimed moral police and protectors? And what is the supposed ‘Indian culture’ that one must follow to be safe and survive in this country?
(This post was first translated in Gujarati and published in City Bhaskar, Ahmedabad in the 21 Feb 2016 edition. Liked it? Hated it? Let me know! Comment here or get in touch at rtnair91gmail.com)