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‘Locked inside hostel premises, asked to call our guardians’: Female students of Delhi University protest against ‘curbs’ on movement during Holi

A notice in this regard was circulated on Tuesday by the section officer of the Rajiv Gandhi Hostel for Girls (RGHG) at Mukherjee Nagar, North Campus DU.

On Wednesday, March 8, the women students at Delhi University’s Rajiv Gandhi Hostel for Girls (RGHG) alleged that the varsity authorities locked them inside the hostel premises, barring them from going out on the occasion of Holi which also coincided with International Women’s Day. The students reportedly raised slogans and protested against the curbs that barred them from going out until 6 pm on the festival of Holi.

Reportedly, a notice in this regard was circulated on Tuesday by the section officer of the Rajiv Gandhi Hostel for Girls (RGHG) at Mukherjee Nagar, North Campus Delhi University.

“All the residents of the hostel are hereby informed that ‘no guest’, ‘no late night’ and ‘no leave’ will be allowed on March 7 and 8 on the occasion of Holi festival”, the notice stated. It added that the hostel would remain closed on March 8 between 7 am and 5 pm.

“No visitors/guests will be allowed on the day of the Holi festival. Residents can go out only after 6 pm on March 8, 2023,” read another notice from a section officer dated March 2.

Notice issued by DU (Source: India Today)

The students protested against the notice by shouting slogans against the hostel administration claiming that they were imprisoned in the hostel on the occasion of International Women’s Day, which coincides with the Holi festival this year. They criticized the move by calling it uncalled for and arbitrary.

A final year MA history student and an RGHG hostel resident naled Dipanshi said that the women students were protesting against both, the arbitrary closure of hostel gates and the undertaking. “We were planning to celebrate International Women’s Day but we have been locked inside the hostel. We cannot even step out to interact with our peers in other hostels on the campus where similar restrictions have been imposed. No restrictions have been imposed on the boys’ hostel,” said Dipanshi.

She added that the hostel administration had warned students of disciplinary action if they didn’t sign the undertaking. “They are seeking details of family members and contact numbers. Even if students have to step out for collecting food, they are being asked to sign an undertaking,” said Dipanshi.

“After continuous protests from the girls of RGHG since March 2, the hostel authorities had assured that the gate would not be locked on the day of Holi. Instead, they came up with a discriminatory and intimidating undertaking. On March 8, 2023, on the day of Holi, the authorities locked the gates,” another student said.

The students claimed that they tried to submit a memorandum to the proctor of DU, but in vain.

Speaking on the issue, DU proctor Rajni Abbi said that notices are sent out by respective hostels every year. “Holi can bring trouble sometimes. As a preventive measure, hostel administrators take some steps every year. Since women were protesting, we have told them that they can call their local guardians and go out with them or give an undertaking that they are taking their own responsibility,” said Abbi.

DU not the only university to impose curbs on Holi, BHU banned Holi celebrations, revoked order after criticism

Notably, on 28th February 2023, the Banaras Hindu University at Varanasi also courted a massive controversy by banning Holi celebrations on the campus. The university administration said that action will be taken against those who defy this order. However, on Thursday, 3rd March 2023, students defied the ban and celebrated Holi on campus and in individual hostels.

On March 4, however, after drawing fierce criticism from students and on social media for banning Holi celebrations on campus, the Banaras Hindu University revoked the order.

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Searched termsHoli Ban university
OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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