27 September, 2020

Crossing The Ravana Rekha

Women students clashing with ­authorities in north India signal that while patriarchy hasn’t changed, the ground under its feet is shifting

Benaras Barricade Bhu
Protestors faceoff with the police
Photograph by PTI
Crossing The Ravana Rekha

Post-Protest BHU

  • VC G.C. Tripathi was sent on leave
  • Royana Singh replaces chief ­proctor O.N. Singh, becoming first woman to hold that post
  • Twenty-eight female security guards to be on the university campus; seven ­appointed so far, with male guards on stand-by
  • First all-woman “squad” for ­campus monitoring set up
  • A judicial probe will be done into arson during the protest
  • The university’s annual security budget is Rs 14 crore. It has 83 hostels, 22 for women.


Any talk of the State’s benign paternalism vis-à-vis India’s daughters comes up, first of all, against raw reality. A most revealing snapshot of this came recently from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Even as the country was moving into annual Durga Puja festivities, to mark a divinised form of woman power, angry girl students hogged television screenspace for days on end with a most...



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