September 29, 2017 : The Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has been facing significant backlash for the past few days, brought under scanner for victim-shaming a female student, who was professedly molested on the university campus a week ago. The 101 years old University made history on September 28 by appointing a female chief proctor, in a first of its kind move.
Professor Royana Singh, a professor at the anatomy department of BHU’s Institute of Medical Science, is the first woman in varsity’s history to hold the post and also heads the women grievance cell of the university.
Challenge is to maintain discipline in campus. We are in process of fulfilling the demands of the student: Royana Singh, BHU Chief Proctor pic.twitter.com/ZxikpIeXJ9
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) September 28, 2017
Speaking to The Times of India, Royanna highlighted how dressing should be about comfort, and that is a decision that should be left to the girls. She said,
Putting a dressing restriction on girls would be like imposing it on myself. You start your day at 6 am and end at 10:30 pm, and if you still can’t wear what you feel comfortable in, then it is a shame in this era.
Born in France, Royana Singh, who seems pretty liberal in her outlooks, believes that women are naturally more comfortable in sharing things with fellow females. Hence, she plans to recruit and sensitize female guards to ensure safety standards are maintained in the future.
Girls can move anywhere and at any time. As a chairperson of grievance cell at the Banaras Hindu University until recently, I have taken up such issues and addressed them to restore the dignity of women. We will sensitize guards and wardens on these sensitive topics.
Singh was designated by Banaras Hindu University Vice Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi after ON Singh surrendered as the chief proctor on grounds of “moral responsibility” for the lathicharge on dissenting students. However, students largely believe ON Singh was made a mere scapegoat and the BHU Vice Chancellor Tripathi should resign.
Despite his multiple clarifications to suppress the issue, vice-chancellor Tripathi made some dubious remarks as the issue gained heat, purportedly trivializing the attack occurrence.
According to a report by First Post, Tripathi was cited as saying, “Boys will be boys,” and “Forget about what happened. Why don’t you stop stepping out after 6 pm if you dislike such things? You are a girl, don’t try to become a boy (by stepping out after sunset).”
The vice chancellor additionally defended the strict curfew timings in the ladies’ hostel and alleged gender bias by saying that the security of young ladies and young men can never be at standard.
Female students at Banaras Hindu University have been challenging sexual bias in prevalent rules at the campus, and requesting round-the-clock security and making security staff responsible for untoward occurrences focusing on ladies. Additionally, they have also raised demands for CCTV arrangements, legitimate checking at the entryways, and setting up of a gender sensitization board.