Last week, an MBA student was gang raped in the Chamundi Hills in Mysore. Since the incident, there have been several statements of victim blaming and moral policing by state politicians

The latest case of moral policing and diktat has come now from the Mysore University. The university released a circular dated 26th August 2021 prohibiting the movement of women students or sitting alone in the Manasagangothri campus of Mysore University post 6.30 PM.

The Government and the Home Department have failed to meet the onerous responsibilities of maintaining law and order in the city and the state in-general. The blame and the responsibilities are being shifted onto women for covering up the inefficiency of the state. The imposition of such illogical rules including the restriction of movement is understood to be an act of further victimizing the victims.

This move by the university has come under severe criticism from student community and women activists. With patriarchal diktats like these it looks like the government and the University administration have joined hands to ensure that the administration of the university remains male-dominated and oppressive towards women. Instead of teaching men to get rid of misogynistic and patriarchal mindset the diktat of imposing restrictions on women is being questioned.

Filmmaker Sanjyothi Vk wrote on her Facebook post expressing outrage against such moves of the university that:

She was raped for going out at 7.30. Hence, no woman can come out post 6.30!
Wow! How easy it is to find such wonderful solutions! Then keep lowering the time whenever an incident of rape is reported at 5.30PM, 2.30PM and 10.30 PM.

Why should they [women] even come to colleges and universities? Tell them, don’t! Later, tell them not to hit the streets as well.
Then, because incidents of rape happen  inside houses as well, order that all the females on earth to die!
In all, the rapists must walk free and they should not be bothered!
By the way, What is #Taliban? Where is it?

– Sanjyothi Vk

She has also questioned ‘When the Constitution of India provides equal rights to all its citizens, who are the ones imposing restrictions on women and why? Are women second-class citizens here?’ 

Social media is on fire with comments like the one above-

 ‘Let’s kill female fetuses while in the womb itself; Then, there’s no possibility of rape. What say Vice- Chancellor and Khaki goons?
This is a university, and they teach children! Thu!
If an incident of rape happens at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, then the girls will cannot move after 1 PM?’

Journalist Dinesh Kumar Dinoo expressed outrage stating that ‘Instead of banning females from walking on the university campus after six in the evening, ban education of women altogether. We will beat up our Chest and can proudly claim that we too have a Taliban model of governance.’

Karnataka Janashakti, a civil society organisation has questioned the circular and quoted Manusmriti.

Manusmriti says a woman is not entitled to freedom. This university circular is a page from Manusmriti.

“A woman should not do anything independently by herself, whether she is a young girl, an adult, an old woman, or even when she is at home. Article 15 of the Constitution of India states that no Citizen of India should be discriminated against on the  basis of caste, class, religion, sex, or race. Now, tell us what the Mysore University adheres to – The Constitution of India or Manusmriti?” contacted Mysore University’s Vice-Chancellor Shivappa Ramakrishna. He wrote, “We have issued the circular as a precautionary measure for safety of our students. We have no intention of imposing any such restrictions. ” When questioned about the University’s circular being directly against the interests of women students and having sent a wrong message to society, he said that “We will repeal it and issue another a new circular.”

This stands as a testimony for the fact that both, the governments and our universities have failed to fully understand the real causes behind crimes such as rape. The government and the Universities have to learn their lessons from the outrage expressed by the conscious citizenry.

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February 2024


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