Friday, February 25, 2011

A Graphic Petition Against Discriminatory Hostel Rules for Women in Delhi University

Note: Hundreds have already signed this petition physically including many leading feminist scholars and activists. If you agree with the petition and want to endorse it, please leave your name and affiliation in the comment section of this post.

Delhi University Post Graduate and Under Graduate Women's Hostels enforce rigid mechanisms which restricts mobility and freedom of the "INMATES". Many of our "FEMINISTS" professors just happen to be on the Managing Committee of these Hostels. We demand that they put their feminism into practice and and in turn force the University authorities to put an end to our imprisonment.


bono said...

I endorse this petition which appears to be both creative and genuine.

Bonojit Hussain, Freelance Researcher and Political Activist, Delhi, India

Vasundhara said...

endorse endorse endorse!

(ps - devika super!)

Purnima said...



Anshul Pandey said...

The petition has my full support.

Student, DU

Tejaswini said...

Wonderful petition. Endorse
Tejaswini Madabhushi
Student, George Mason University

kaivalyam said...

Lock those creatures with penises not us! yes! ENDORSE.

Jillet said...

go police your own sexuality, DU babus

Jillet Sarah Sam
Student, University of Maryland College Park

Zubin Adrianvala said...

Endorsed of course.... can there be any other alternative? As a man I am offended by this as much as any woman.... sorry, no need to burden women with our moral weaknesses, my gender should start accepting moral responsibility for our actions....

Kamayani said...

I endorse

Kamayani Bali- Mahabal

nair said...

student, JNU

namrata said...


sawmya said...


mahinder pal said...

ye hostel nahi kaidkhane hein !

Sudhir Gandotra - Humanist Party said...

This is not the way to teach young people.
This is only violence and must be stopped.
There is no use such educational institutions, when they wish to become jails.

abhi said...

student, hcu

Naina said...

agreed agreed....
And when these girls hostel rules are compared to the boys hostel, my blood just boils at the freedom that the boys are given.....

Abraham said...

Brilliantly done! Endorse!

Abraham Markos
Student, Bangalore

T said...


Tathagata Sengupta
Student, Brandeis University

in search of a colourful karma said...

hope these rules change for you guys! gawd knows, you need it...

lucky said...


Kanika said...

Endorse it !!

Kanika Rajani,

rohan said...

break down the hypocrisy , its about time you chaps are treated like adults , just make sure the men of delhi are well prepared ! good luck chaps !

rohan said...

oh sorry forgot, Rohan Sen, student , Asian College of Journalism, Chennai

raw said...

I think the hostels are just saving their asses.
This is not the true picture.
The true picture is when a girl goes night out, gets drunk and get gangraped and lands up in a gutter her body rotting,
That time the parents ask the hostel "how did you let her go alone at night"???

Boy don't have such rules cause girls don't get them drunk or kidnap them to rape them.
You people sit here and talk about "rules" while you live in some utopian world and behave like crime does not exist.
Its the responsibility of the hostel in then end.
ALso in India How many girls "night-outs" at their homes??
I think the problem lies with their parents. Some parents search for hostels that have "paternalistic hostel authorities" and prefer them as they would not allow their kids to do the same while living at home. They want the same protection at the hostel. If they send girls out at night when at home they send an elder brother or a Uncle/Aunt who will drop them and drive them around or give them company.
Hostels cannot keep escorts for girls who want to go out at night.

You people have not other work in life, There are so many issues to fight about. Naina does your blood not boil when you hear of the female flesh trade, the child sex racket going on in India.
Do you know that these people kidnap girls and kids who are loitering around at night this way.

What do you think Boys are doing at night outs?? Bhajans?, Social work??? are they building values, making money???
Then why does your blood boil?
Jeez talk about rebel without cause!!

raw said...

Gates are also locked to prevent rowdies from entering hostels. there have been so many cases where vagabonds have thrown bottles and shouting out girls names. in front of hostels.
Its only because the gates were locked they never entered and created problems.

Before you can argue that women need freedom or blame, the guys or the law and order situation please read the analogy below
A bear can smell blood from a mile away.
I am sure it would not be a wise thing to walk into a bear inhabited jungle waving a cloth soaked in Blood.
You won't argue that you have the Freedom to walk into a jungle waving the blood soaked cloth in the air.
The bear will kill you and only you will be to blame.
The pathetic condition of our society and the poor law and order is too blame.
Gandhiji had said that the place where a women can walk alone at 12 in the night and be safe will be heaven on earth.
Sadly India is still far away from being heaven on earth.
So think practically and stop fighting for useless things.
If you value freedom so much you might as well live independently in houses with roomates and such

Innocent Thoughts said...

Shagun Tiwary, Student, Delhi School of Economics

And Raw: You make no sense!! Every individual can think and decide for themselves, especially students pursuing masters level education at a University in a metro. We are not brain dead! So stop preaching.

Ruth said...

Endorse! :)

aashima said...

Aashima Subberwal
Student, Delhi University

Prabhjot said...


Vanishri said...

I endorse this petition! Female students should not be treated as children, who are unable to govern themselves.

Chitralekha said...

I endorse it!

kabuliwala said...

I endorse this petition

Praveen Verma
Research Scholar
University of Delhi

KALYANI said...

Endorsed! And by the way, can we please stop vilifying bears? Most of them are peacable creatures who are not interested in chasing girls, even if they are waving blood-soaked rags. It's probably another bipedal species that we need to watch out for (and it's not orangutans).

Pronoy said...

Strongly endorsed.

The university should attempt sprucing up its security infrastructure on campus and not jail the boarders to ensure security! How 17th century is this!

Parag said...

Strongly and fully Endorsed.

It is not the university to decide who will go out and who won't. Its an university for heaven's sake not a jail. Besides, girls hostels of DU has the history of not letting its borders go out after 6pm even for coaching classes.

Jenni O. said...

As an American student who has visited DU, I stand with the female students who have created this creative and intelligent protest against the unfair treatment they receive from their university. I wish you all the luck in creating an environment where women are viewed as capable as men and are not blamed when they are attacked by the opposite sex. It's time to stop blaming the victim and allow women the same rights and freedoms as men. Best of luck.

Jenni O'Connor
Graduate Student
New York, NY

rajan said...

strongly endorsed
s seshan

2pry2 said...

I endorse whole-heartedly.

Shashank Kumar
M.A. Labour Studies
TISS, Mumbai

Anonymous said...

hell yeah. Endorse!

Gface said...

This petition has my complete endorsement.

Gauri Nori

Celegrim said...

Endorse, with pleasure!

Ameya Naik
LL.B., Government Law College, Mumbai

The irony is that I live in a Boys' Hostel with pretty stringent (if not actually life threatening) deadlines, rules, registers and the lot. Meaning there are Girls' Hostels around (and one hopes DU will become one of those) which have later deadlines than mine!

And one point @Raw - the hostel is responsible? Really? Every hostel I know of makes people sign an iron-clad indemnity form releasing them from ANY liability before they even join up. And if any of the evils you describe do happen, who's going to face the blame - the hostel?! If current tendencies are any guide, it would be the girl herself?

Serious question: did you see where the word "feminist" got used so much in the appeal? That was to bring out this concept called "irony". Sometimes also known as hypocrisy.

prasad said...

I endorse it!

Anja said...


Good to see that someone finally decided to take on this hypocrisy and expose it for what it is.

Liza said...

Faced such discrimination while I was a student in DU. PG hostel was prison-for-girls

Saraansh said...


Saraansh Bansal

disha pandit said...

completely agree and completely endorse!
its about time they stop treating girls who live in hostels like prisoners!

Ex-Telang Memorial Hostel 'Immate'

Devangana said...

Endorsed! this is great! who are these 'feminists' on the hostel board? expose them!

Devangana Kalita
MA Gender, IDS

Budhaditya said...



krishna said...

i hereby endorse..
and thank you very much for the petition..

krishan takhar
social work student
tata institue of social sciences,

jici said...

Endorsed!! YES Women! YES Equal Rights!!

Jahnissi Ardila
MA Political Science, Long Island University
New York, New York

chandana said...


sushant said...

Endorsed !


Independent Researcher

New Delhi

Sloppy Hand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sloppy Hand said...

I completely endorse it.

Ketaki Hate,
Tata Institute of Social Science,

PS I endorse it free from duress of bears who run at people with blood stained rags or any other type of garment the said bear prefers.

Tanya said...

Tanya Matthan
(Former Inmate and DU student)

Abhimanyu Ghoshal said...

Endorsing with full force.

Abhimanyu Ghoshal
Photographer, Bangalore

Ayesha said...

(Former undergraduate inmate)
Ayesha Matthan

ipsita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kabir said...

Endorse strongly.
Kabir Dixit
Former DU Student ('00-'06)
Advocate, Allahabd High Court, Lucknow Bench.

littleanna said...


@ raw: I think you are overreacting. Your ideas about protecting women and the like are a bit skewed. What you are talking about - or trying to talk about is a much more complicated situation - and the solution is definitely not to restrict a woman's movements. By this, you are only reinforcing the f****up-ness that exists in society about morality and 'night-outs' and what not.

Your comment "Boy don't have such rules cause girls don't get them drunk or kidnap them to rape them" is hilarious...
You have an extremely low opinion of the male gender and it makes me rather sad - I have men who are friends and I know for a fact or atleast hope that they do not think like this.

Lakyrkhumai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lakyrkhumai said...


L. L. Syiem

- one who had to sign the nightly attendance register, the night out register and the late night register, who was locked in 10 p.m. and, later, at 9 pm.

Anusha said...


talulah bell said...

endorse definitely.

as for 'raw' s comments:
u are truly infuriatingly hilarious,,,,
u seem to imply that all the utility fo nightouts for women is to get 'drunk' and somehow being drunk is to be naturally followed by sex!!!!!!!!!
and u are so arrogant conceited and selfish as to believe that you have some rioght to ' protect' which to me is pretty much equal to interfere and in a self declaratory manner assume 'protecting' responsibilities for other peoples lives who are clearly acccording to you out of control and stupid !!!!!! i would think that parents who want to 'protect' their chidren beyond 18 yrs by confining them to their surveillance since they obviously do not trust their children's capability as crown ups to be responsible individuals. And this 'crime' of rape to me is pretty much the same as harassing people by restricting their freedom and their voices and needs and stems from the same logic of being so conceited, arrogant, cruel and as to impose ones own ideas and selfish interests upon a seperate individual.

kabir said...

The following endorsement (if it can be called that) is posted for Mukul Dubey, photographer (Delhi), with his permission, as his posts wouldn't go through.

"Forty years ago, male post-graduate students like me used to grumble about the then considerably more strict rules of women's hostels (then called girls' hostels). While I sympathise with young women who chafe against restrictions they consider excessive, I shall point out that those who run these hostels must consider several things that can go wrong; and that they are, ultimately, responsible to parents and to society. India is not the West, men's attitudes and behaviour are different here, social mores are different, even the way alcohol is treated is different. Finally, I think it helps no one to unthinkingly toss about words like "feminist" and "patriarchal". Like all other things, these too have social contexts which vary from place to place."

Jenni O. said...

The basic human right of equal treatment without regard to gender does not vary based on "social context", culture or any other label you would like to invoke as an excuse for sexist treatment. It is clear to me that those involved in the creation of this petition are quote clear on their message and are not, as you state, "unthinkingly" tossing around terms.

Might I also point out that grown women (and men) are quite capable of "considering several things that could go wrong" and making their own informed decisions.

Endorse. Again.

Usman said...

Its about time!


Student, Dept of Sociology, DU

kabir said...

Mukul Dube (not 'Dubey'), who is a writer and editor in addition to being a photographer, and who was long ago a teacher, asks me to add this for him:

"If it amuses you to call me a mealy mouthed old man, go right ahead. But do also try to explain away the contradiction between your valiant and unshakeably clear-headed stand and the fact that women in Delhi, for example, know that walking alone after dark is a no-no; and that there is a great deal of sexual harassment even in public places even in the day-time.

"I know perfectly well that the cause of these lousy things are lousy men. However, given the fact that these louts cannot be bumped off en masse, it seems to me that the only practical solution is for women to keep themselves out of places where there is danger.

"While adulthood -- the fact of being 18 or 21 -- does bring with it certain abilities, usually including a sense of responsibility, it is futile to pretend that age and experience have no value."

Mukul Dube
D-504 Purvasha (Anand Lok Apts.)
Mayur Vihar 1
Delhi 110091
+ 91 - 987 355 3167
011 - 2275 0240

Sridevi P said...

Choice, Mr. Dube, Choice. Mine, not yours.

prude said...


Tilottama said...

Dear Mr. Mukul Dube,
Fortunately for the people who have endorsed on this site and unfortunately for you, this is not a place for esteemed persons such as you to sympathise for young women. None of us here are looking for sympathies. We understand that several things can go wrong, considering we women belong by nature to the wronged sex. But what we question through this petition is not the wrongs that are carried out by ‘bears’ that have been mentioned by someone on this page who, I’m sure would love to be your ardent follower. What we question is the hostel’s hypocrisy in bearing the responsibility when they compel us to sign documents which completely take away the apparent ‘responsibility’ from the hostel authorities in case of untoward incidences and shove responsibility in our face. So, in case we’re raped in the middle of the day (as you have rightly mentioned) the onus comes back on us, the ‘girl’ of the hostel.
Talking about social context, how can we contextualise different rules for hostels in the same hostel complex? While residents of one hostel in the DU women’s hostel complex have 9pm as their daily deadline, how is it that another can have 11pm as the same? Does that mean the hostel authorities feel one set of girls is more susceptible to harm than the other? The international women’s hostel is more liberal with their deadlines. Does that mean the social mores are different for them in the same social context, that they carry their ‘Western’ social mores with them in their bags when they come to India to study? Is it possible for us to see these ‘safeguards’ in a different way?
Of course we understand “walking alone after dark is a no-no” but when we are questioning these ‘paternalistic’ hostel regulations, we are not asking for rights to walk on the street alone. What we are asking for is to acknowledge that as women, we have a right to decide what’s best for us. Like a man staying in a hostel has a right to decide against going out alone at night in fear of being mugged, as women , we must have the same. What’s the use in adopting ‘feminist’ standpoints in the classroom if the same people can’t implement the same. In that case, why are they scared to do away with the form which places the onus on the woman in case of any unfortunate incident? Let’s see them taking responsibility for once, for whichever they feel is more ‘correct’.
And personally I feel the most disgraceful thing to do on a social platform is to try legitimising ones standpoint by declaring ones eminent career in scholarly activities. If one is confident about their views, they shouldn’t have to declare worthiness by declaring to be a writer, editor photographer and teacher long ago. It sounds extremely flippant, if not humorous.


mixd's mess said...

While anyone with half a brain can see the glaring flaws in Dube's "statement" one thing needs to be stated strongly: For matters arising outside of the hostel premises the hostel is NOT " ultimately, responsible to parents and to society." It says so in the handbook. If it were held responsible then it would be sued round the clock by all the parents in the country who worried about what their little girls did when they were not dutifully studying or watching cookery shows. The hostel is a public institution entrusted with the sole task of providing shelter. The hostel is not my mummy or my daddy. Moreover, the hostel is not at all concerned for my safety. statistics show that in Delhi i am far more likely to be run over by a speeding bus (or any non-sexual attack) however I don’t see my warden offering to hold my hand every time I cross a road. Both the hostel and apparently Dube are concened only with the sexual safety of women. My question is why?

pia said...



vikram said...

I endorse!

ajinkya said...

I endorse this petition!

Ajinkya Shenava
M.A. in Media and Cultural Studies

(and brilliant work with the cartoon :) )

Dipit Kochar said...

I endorse!

Dipit Kochar
Sophia College, Mumbai University

sruthi said...

i strongly endorse this petition! good creative interpretation of the irony of educational institutions being platforms for dissemination of progressive values but themselves embedded in deep hierarchies and patriarchal biases.
sruthi muraleedharan
phd student,DU

Hoary Rumination said...

This is a genuine issue of concern. I endorse the cause fully.

kabir said...

Hi. this petition ws published on 25th Feb. got its last visible comment on March 15. its June 5, 2011. in all it has received 78 comments n not all are endorsements. has there been any follow up action? a bit of an abandoned lost cause it is beginning to look like, which is sad coz u started with a sufficiently provocative cartoon. why don't we recirculate this petition. n how about some inmates organizing themselves on this issue. please suggest follow up action. after all, baba ramdev is not likely to include this casue in his anshan. lets keep at it. please recirculate n suggest action.

kabir said...

Hi. this petition ws published on 25th Feb. got its last visible comment on March 15. its June 5, 2011. in all it has received 78 comments n not all are endorsements. has there been any follow up action? a bit of an abandoned lost cause it is beginning to look like, which is sad coz it did start with a sufficiently provocative cartoon. worth recirculating i'd say. wish some inmates would get provoked enuf to organize themselves a little. make representations or something to authorities or something. after all, baba ramdev is not likely to include this casue in his anshan. gues even if say timings for a single hostel could be extended by even an hour, it would be a step.

vib.h.u said...

Well expressed. I, too, endorse the petition.

Mishti Imli said...

I endorse. Ritu Mahendru, Independent Researcher

Arnika Singh said...


Please share your contact details ( email / contact number). Would like to promote this wonderful initiative through our platform.


Anul Jain said...


Girls PG in Delhi University said...

I would say that you people are really doing a good work. Getting a safe accommodation for girls is not much easy. But you much make some changes in your security features. Because too much restriction is not so good in 21st century as I think so.

Mukul Dube said...

Ms. Tilottama, I wished merely to point out that Kabir, who has known me since he was a small child, described me incorrectly and even misspelt my name. As for "flippant", please look it up in a dictionary.

Nithya B said...

The Tulips Ladies Hostels, located in Coimbatore are the innovators in providing housing for students and working women in prime places of Coimbatore. Our ladies hostel is mentioned as one of the well-known ladies hostels, providing various kinds of hostel resort features on a daily and monthly basis with affordable rates.

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