Following is a letter from a girl.A girl who is studying at one of the country’s premier engineering colleges. A girl who believes that she belongs to a college,a community and a country wherein girls are treated at par with boys. A girl who is unable to understand why her freedom is being restricted for no fault of her.The person being addressed is the Dean Students Welfare.
I write this letter to you, not to question or challenge the recent restrictions (if I may call them so,with your ‘prior permission’) that have been put on me and the other girl students, with your due consent. I am writing this letter, hoping to be provided with a rational explanation for the action, as I believe you are a very broad minded, progressive, anti-chauvinistic person who knows what he is doing.
First of all Sir, I failed to understand, even after hours of intensive thinking, that how could the actions of one(or a few) girls lead to the generalization that the behaviour of all the girl students is ‘obscene,immoral and indecent’. But, then again, as I previously said, you must have yourself observed the behaviour of each of us closely and for a long time. Only then you took this step, didn’t you?
Taking this thought into consideration, I duly agreed to be in my hostel latest by 9 every day except once a month. But Sir, if I am ‘immoral,indecent’ and my public behaviour is ‘obscene’, why did you allow me to be out till 10 pm EVEN once a month?It might be harmful,don’t you think? And if in the unlikeliest case that you are wrong, and I am honest and decent, then why did you allow me to be out till 10 pm ONLY once a month?
Another thing I couldn’t understand was how by walking alone in the evening,inside the campus-with so many security personnel and guards around, I was being wrong and ‘indecent,obscene and immoral’. I trust my male batch mates, my seniors and my juniors- most if not all of them respect a woman’s dignity.I know you are concerned about my security Sir, but after all it’s a college campus, not a prison campus,right?But then again Sir, you know better than us,don’t you?
Also Sir, you mentioned that I should not wear ‘indecent dresses’ in the class or afterwards. But Sir, you didn’t define what constituted ‘indecent dressing’. If you could please tell me what kind of clothes pass your ‘high test of morality’, I could set up our wardrobes accordingly.
And Sir, I believe there must be a very strong reason for you to not mention a similar rule for boys,isn’t it? After all, how could a boy look indecent,no matter what he wears?
And Sir,you also ordered me to be seen with my male friends only in canteen. Well no problem in that Sir, except that the canteen can hold barely a 100 people. And what with all the male population there-both students and outsiders -it would be kind of tough….umm, nevermind Sir, I’ll adjust.
And Sir, did I mention that the ‘outsiders’ and the ‘general public’ who complained to you about my ‘indecent,obscene and immoral’ behaviour? Well, on most evenings, a bunch of outsiders move around in the campus on high speed bikes,especially near my hostel. But I think, that would be just because they are so concerned about my ‘safety and security’,right Sir?