Join our public meeting`Love without fear!’
We will be joined by:
Akhil Katyal- Writer, translater, poet, professor.
Sanjay Rajoura- Stand up artist, actor, member Aisi Taisi Democracy.
Pranal Chirmuley- Professor at Centre of German Studies, JNU.
Apoorvanand Jha, Department of Hindi, DU
Nandini Chandra, Department of English, DU
Sapna Chamadia, Hindi poetess and professor, Rajdhani College
Pandies Theatre Group which will be performing on Manto!
Kamla Nehru college Theatre society!
Moksh Theatre Society of Aurobindo College!
And many more renowned artists, Intellectuals, Performers, Activists!
On this eve of 14th February, when the world will come together to celebrate the ‘cliché’ of valentine’s day, when the corporate will go gaga over this day and do every niche to commercialise it, when the men in saffron from VHP to BJP will be out on the streets to catch the young couples who dared to cross the line of ‘culture’, we are left to wonder how free we women are in our campus spaces? How free are we to assert our free will?
Isn’t it appalling that as a student of this progressive university, we are left to support ourselves in case of filing any complaint or for reporting any instance of harassment? The Gender Sensitisation Cell Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) is either nonexistence or in some cases its existence is limited on a sheet of paper with no student representative in that committee. Why the promising Women Development Cells have even less participation of women students in most colleges?
Aren’t you left to wonder why the university makes it clear with its fee structure that the women hostels will be far more expensive as compared to men hostels and access to these spaces comes with provision of ‘curfew timings’ and some sexist rules which are exclusively reserved for us? Why are we all left to deal with the equally conservative hostel wardens, administration and staff?
We are shocked that the notion of protecting the ‘honour’ of women is so rooted institutionally that not only dress codes in PG’s are approved but also, our DUSU candidates go on too far to even harass women journalists so that no women in campus gives out answers to their survey on sexual preferences. Why? Because as a ‘decent’ woman we are not supposed to assert our sexuality independently at first place.
We ask you all whether we are safe to assert our free will when there is no proper lighting in campus? How are we to travel to our colleges when the public transport is in shambles? When the woman special buses that used to ply in campuses few years back have been discontinued? We know that the situation of outer campuses and evening colleges are even more difficult as there is no access to bus or metro feeders.
We ask you whether it is justified to burden our bodies with the ‘honour’ of the entire society. Was it justified to kill our own university friend Bhawna for falling in love with a man of another caste? Our bodies, our preferences, our choices are controlled every day and sometimes it takes the ugly form of ‘honour killing’. How long will they keep on determining our fate?
Have not all of us who left our hometown to come to study in Delhi, in a premier university campus always thought that we will be finally ‘free’, free from the diktats of conservative Khap and constant moral policing at the hands of elders back home? But have not we found that these university structures are equally dormant without any scope of any redress.?
Friends, how can even men be truly free if they can only either remain silent observers or perpetrators of everyday patriarchy? How will we be free to love, free to make choices, friends when at every instance these coveted institutions let us down? How do we call ourselves modern when in our most liberal cities like Bangalore witnesses such heinous mass molestation on New Year’s Eve? How shall we be able to assert our autonomy when the ruling class ministers from BJP to SP teach us how our bodies are just a baby producing factory and how rape is our own fault? When inter religious love is termed by them as ‘love jihad’ and identifying oneself as LGBT is criminalised and is said to be unnatural.
On this 13th February we ask all of you to come out on the streets, to say it out loud,
NO to institutionalized surveillance
YES to consent!
Let us all join together to reclaim our spaces!
JOIN US with your views, performances, experiences, flowers, poems and ballons on this 13th February, Monday!
1PM onwards at Arts Faculty, North Campus, DU.