A Delhi University college has banned the use of cellphones or laptops in its hostels — a bewildering step in a university regarded as a role model for other educational institutions in India. Even more alarmingly, it is only the women students who are the receiving end of this diktat.
Daulat Ram College, a girls’ only college in New Delhi, has barred students from having cellphones or computers in their rooms. While most of the residents are above 18, they say their rooms do not even have a latch and that supervisors can storm into their rooms at 2 a.m. if they suspect them of having sneaked in a mobile phone.
Resentment over these rules led to a student protest over the weekend, but no concrete step has been taken to revoke these rules so far.
The college, known for its science department, has questioned the need for students to possess laptops or other gadgets. Authorities fear that girls will take nude pictures or watch pornography if they are allowed to keep a phone.
Despite turning the hostel into a virtual prison, the college claims to have been “empowering women” for the past 50 years. And it is not the sole “empowering” force in the lives of young Indian women.