While Jamia Millia Islamia has started the practice of holding democratic elections for mess and cultural committee in the boys hostel once again, the administration has openly decided to not hold any elections for the same in girls hostel. The practice of holding Elections for mess and cultural committee in both the hostels was stopped a few years back but the practice has been brought back in the boys hostel alone. In the girls hostel there are no such elections and the two committees are only in name and completely defunct.
The existing practice was that residents could give there name to the hostel authorities for being a member of the two respective committee and then the warden would chose the final members according to her own will, an undemocratic practice with no says of residents. In fact, names for the two committes names were sought more than three months ago and no final committee has been formed even though more than half of the academic session has passed. “I had given name for the mess committee some months back but till now I haven’t been informed about its formation and have no idea what the administration did with the names that were collected”, says a MA student residing in the hostel. Whereas there are so many issues related to the mess that an elected committee is all the more needed.” The mess fees has been increased for the last two semesters and now is se four thousand more than what it was one year back, despite all this the food quality is degrading and is sometimes not healthy” complained another resident.
Such discrimination on the basis of gender is not specific to Jamia. Women residents are constantly denied access to democratic processes. Hostel unions in women’s hostels often do not exist or have very limited powers. It is telling that in Delhi University, out of the 15 women’s colleges only 4 are associated with the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU).