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‘We Took What Was Ours’: Jamia Girls Rejoice New Curfew Timings

Most students, however, agree that there are more battles to be forged and won.

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3 min read

Video Editor: Rahul Sapui

A week after a female student was denied the right to receive food she’d ordered post the 8 pm curfew, girls from her hostel and university erupted in tumultuous protest. The protest, organised by Pinjra Tod on Monday, 19 March, ended in the administration giving in and extending the curfew from 8 pm to 10:30 pm.

An exultant Sadaf Nasar, a final year BA English student at Jamia, said:

Aaj Jamia girls’ hostel mein jo hai, bahut zyada khush hai (Today, every woman at the Jamia girls’ hostel is extremely happy). This is a big victory for us.
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This isn’t a first of its kind protest.

A photo of the protest.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Pinjra Tod)

Three years ago, enraged at the lack social spaces both inside and outside the campus, one woman wrote an anonymous letter to the administration. The letter – which served as a symbol of hope back then – was written by a student named Priyanka, who says she did not reveal her identity in the letter out of fear of facing serious consequences from the authorities. Today, however, she is excited at the change:

It’s great that the administration has received a challenge from the girls. They will think twice now before imposing such rules. I remember how we used to face problems in accessing libraries, going anywhere... Our characters would be assassinated. So, this protest was long overdue.
Priyanka, Jamia alumni, batch of 2014-2016

Initially, though, instead of agreeing to extend the curfew till 10:30 pm, the administration tried to placate the situation by offering four ‘late nights’ in a month, which would allow a student to stay outside till 10 pm with prior parental permission.

The students refused to accept this, and demanded the extension of curfew to 10:30 pm, which would mean they could stay out till that time every night if they wished, and no parental permission would be required. By standing together, they made the administration give in.
A photo of the protest.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Pinjra Tod)

Most students, however, agree that there are more battles to be forged and won. Sabah Maharaj, a final year BA Psychology student,says:

It just leaves one with so much hope! I mean, this is one step – it’s a great step – but it’s just one step towards creating a society which doesn’t bar women mentally, emotionally and physically.
A photo of the protest.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Pinjra Tod)

Agrees Zahra Amin, her batchmate, says:

I hope that this 10:30 pm deadline also shifts to no deadline because we as adult, independent women need our rights. Today, we took what was ours, what should have been ours for years.

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