That it took four days for the Delhi Police to even register the case of molestation of Gargi College girls against a group of unruly trespassers when the students were enjoying their annual fest on the campus lawn is a matter of great concern on many fronts. Even as the horrific groping and sexual assault on the young girls by the lewd gatecrashers is painful enough, what is worse is the initial resistance of the college authorities and law enforcers towards their anguished pleas for action against the molesters. That outsiders could scale the college walls under the watch of the authorities and security men deployed to ensure a safe environment is itself a breach of the security. And their turning a blind eye to the goings-on or deaf to complaints of victims is a sad pointer to a regressive mindset: girls out to have fun are responsible for their own safety or they better stay home, for ‘boys will be boys’. And, alarmingly, an added immunity from action against unlawful conduct seems to be elicited in these days of hyper-nationalism in not-so-subtle ways, including the invocation of Lord Ram or ‘gau mata’.
The authorities took action only when organised cries for justice by the Gargi girls against the blatant violation and abuse became shrill; they could no longer shrug off the matter as victims of the mayhem at the college on February 6 shared their shocking experiences on the social media and the Delhi Commission for Women issued notices to the Delhi Police and the college for their alleged inaction in the molestation. The wait for yet another inquiry report into yet another shameful episode of a Delhi college/university begins.
Violent attempts to stifle student activism in recent days in JNU and Jamia Millia have left a disheartening trail. Masked goons had a free run in JNU to browbeat students seeking a rollback of fee hike. Law and order on the campus is the bedrock on which the youth depend for stepping out to attain degrees and the ways of the world. Any breach in the security calls for urgent and stringent action.
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