The ONGOING controversy that has surrounded the Aligarh Muslim University is uncalled for. The Vice Chancellor’s comments about girls attracting boys inside the library are not only highly condemnable but shouldn’t have come in the first place. Nobody possibly has understood why the VC issued a statement that clearly implied that the denial of entry to girl students from the university and especially the Women’s College inside the varsity’s Maulana Azad Library was not because of paucity of space but because of a largely misogynistic outlook.
The V-C may have later said that the university authorities are not sexist, want women empowerment and do not want to segregate the students but the damage has already been done. In an era where Indian women are leading and showing the way in so many different fields, a comment like this gives ample proof to negate whatever tall statements are made for women empowerment in India. Marginalising students in the manner the AMU V-C wants to, only explains the kind of mindset that is prevalent. How can girls inside a library attract four times more boys? Library is a place where people read and also share their thoughts. The repertoire of knowledge that is at display does not differentiate if a boy picks up a book or a girl picks up a book. In fact not only in Aligarh, women were also targeted in Kochi and also in the Capital when they participated in the Kiss of Love protest.
The kind of humiliation that women have to go through is not only unthinkable but is regressive of a nation which wants to associate itself with the super powers of the world. There are numerous examples of women who have defied all odds and achieved the kind of heights that men can only aspire of. If Durga Shakti Nagpal, the brave heart Uttar Pradesh IAS officer had the courage to take on the sand mafia, the Phogat sisters from Haryana have brought glory to the nation by winning international wrestling medals. If Sania Mirza can win the WTA Championship and MC Mary Kom and L. Sarita devi can make the nation proud by bagging boxing medals at international sports events then where is the need to issue the kind of diktat that the AMU V-C has indeed issued? In fact even the Indian parliament now has 65 members and even India’s dream Mars Orbiter Mission had a 44 year old physicist as its deputy operations director.
Women in India are constantly subjected to such inhuman barbs, which make it untenable for them to progress on the same path of holistic development as their male counterparts do. If the country is to progress it will have to make some amends as far as its treatment of women is concerned. Otherwise there is no place for women to prosper and grow in India.