This is a guest post by some STUDENTS OF ST. STEPHEN’S COLLEGE, Delhi
Over the past one year Delhi University has been subjected to significant changes in the name of academic excellence, and many more changes are in the offing, like an un-thought-out introduction of the four-year undergraduate course. Teachers and students who have voiced concerns (and protested) have been harassed and not paid any heed to. One can witness a general shrinking of democratic space, and the space for dissent within the university. It is almost as if democratic decision making is an enemy of academic excellence, and thus needs to be curbed! A sharp contradiction between campus democracy and a vaguely defined academic excellence has come up recently in some issues pertaining to St. Stephen’s College. In this article, we – some students of the college would like to draw attention to the injuries inflicted on campus democracy, and the questions thrown up about the very meaning of academic excellence in the process. Continue reading Of campus democracy and academic excellence: Students of St. Stephen’s College
This is a guest post by Anonymous
It is over two months since policemen and others allegedly molested women students of Delhi University as they protested against Narendra Modi’s presence at a college event within the University Campus. Not a word of support or concern has emerged from the Vice Chancellor. Instead, cases have been filed by the police against students and teachers who participated in the protest. The Vice Chancellor’s silence is probably among the less hypocritical responses that he could have had. At least students don’t have to hear assurances about their safety once more, and that lie has been laid to rest.
Sometime last year I happened to be present at an interaction between the local Delhi police and women hostel residents of Delhi University. The police had informed three hostels of a ‘meet the public’ programme at which we were required to be present and urge students to attend as well. The students, who were preparing for exams at the time, attended the event somewhat reluctantly, but in the course of the evening, provided the feedback that was asked for with unexpected vigour. A woman DCP and other police representatives who had been called to address us, chose to assure us that the city was in fact safe despite a lot of media noise to the contrary, and that the reliability of the police could be counted on in all instants. This did not go down well. Various students asked what they should do when the police leered at them, exposed themselves to the women, urinated deliberately in front of them, lolled in their chairs chatting with security guards while cars slowed down threateningly in front of the hostel gates. The DCP, flummoxed by this flood of complaints, finally said that the police were after all a part of society and would reproduce its problems. This rare if honest admission should be taken seriously as a sign of how women should regard the question of their own safety.
Guest post by SABA DEWAN
(For Vrinda, Uma, Sukhpreet, Dipta and all of us who found strength in each other to raise our voices in protest…)
A few months back I visited St. Stephen’s College in Delhi University for a screening organized by the students there of my film, ‘The Other Song.’ It was my first visit after 26 years when I had been an undergraduate student here from 1982 – ‘85. I confess I have never felt any urge to go back nor have I suffered nostalgia about the three years I spent in St. Stephen’s College although I have carried vivid memories of that time. Sharp, brittle memories that defined many of the choices I have made in life over the years; the most important being of believing in and hopefully practicing a feminist politics based on equality and respect for all. Feminism truly has been a legacy that St. Stephen’s College inadvertently bequeathed to many of its women students of my generation. Continue reading Of chick charts, hen charts and other such women’s stories: Saba Dewan
This appeal comes to us via MAYA JOHN
Since January of 2012, residents of Delhi University’s largest postgraduate women’s hostel, University Hostel for Women (UHW) have been waging a battle against outright suppression of their democratic rights by, both, their hostel authorities and the University’s Proctorial Committee. Since the hostel’s Chairperson is also the Proctor of the University, the Proctorial Committee has been intervening in the matter, not as a neutral party, but in complete connivance with the hostel authorities. There are two issues which are central to the ongoing struggle of the women students, namely, the imposition of a union constitution by the authorities, and the existence of archaic and conservative rules in the hostel.