Shirtless men reportedly paraded within the premises of women's hostels inside the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus on the occasion of Holi on March 29. Allegedly, while this incident was taking place, not a single guard assigned to these hostels came forward to stop the men.
According to a statement released by ‘Women of JNU’, when women students expressed outrage about the incident, many male students, presumably participants of the parade, claimed that the parade was “an entertaining event for the girls residing in the hostels, and had they been uncomfortable, they would have reported their discomfort immediately to these men”.
The statement said, “It is unbelievable that despite being one of the most politically “progressive” campuses in the country, men in this campus still need to be explained how such acts are not “entertainment” but an aggressive and intimidating show of power and they do not indicate any sense of a safe environment for women or queer persons, if they are subjected to such a display of obscenity within the very spaces where they reside and consider secure.”
A group of at least 30 men, who were all shirtless, allegedly paraded through the premises of the women's hostels, an unprecedented incident in the history of the university. According to the residents of the women’s hostels, they felt uncomfortable and intimidated by the blatant invasion of their privacy.
On March 30, the day after this incident took place, Women of JNU shared videos of the parade on social media and said, “What transpired in the name of Holi yesterday was shameful, disgusting and disrespectful. We, the Women of JNU, condemn these acts in the strongest words possible and demand that the JNU Administration take action against such public obscenity and criminal intimidation.” The students also claimed that they had complained to the guards after the incident, but no steps were taken.
The women students of the university have raised questions as to how the men could participate in such an obscene ritual without the fear of any consequence. They have partly blamed the dissolution of GSCASH for this. The statement said, "The erosion that the ethos of this campus has faced ever since the GSCASH was dismantled by the JNU Administration is palpable in the everyday violation of safe spaces for women and persons of oppressed genders.”
It added, “It is time that there is a conscious attempt by the JNU community to reflect on the deterioration of gender sensitivity on this campus and thwart the constant attempts by such men to threaten, vilify and mock women's movements and to establish their dominance in public places by displaying a show of their toxic masculinity through such acts."