New sexist rule: DU hostels tell female students to not step out on Holi for 'their own safety'

Delhi University’s two hostels for girls have barred the boarders from stepping out on Holi, drawing sharp reactions from students who termed the move as “arbitrary”. DU’s International Student House for Women (ISHW) has said the decision was taken “in the best interest of residents”.

“Residents and female guests will not be allowed to leave or enter the premises from 9 PM on March 12 till 6 PM on March 13. No late night permission will be granted on March 12 and those desirous of playing Holi should go outside the residential block within the hostel premises,” the ISHW notice read.

Similarly, Meghdoot Hostel has issued a notice, informing its boarders that “the main gate will remain closed from 6 AM to 5.30 PM on March 13”. It also barred the inmates from consuming “any narcotic drugs in form of ‘thandai’”.

It also advised the students not to return to the hostel late in the evening of March 12.

‘Pinjra Tod’, a group of students who have been fighting against discriminatory rules for girls in university hostels, said, “The rise in sexual violence and harassment that women experience on the streets around Holi is barely addressed and instead once again, women are locked up for their ‘own safety’ and arbitrary restrictions are imposed on their mobility.”

The group had last week protested outside the office of the Women and Child Development Ministry here, objecting to a statement by its minister Maneka Gandhi advocating hostel curfew for school and college students — both boys and girls — to protect them from their “own hormonal outbursts”.