Disclaimer: This write-up was submitted to The Blue Pencil by a male counterpart. The writer’s views are personal and shall be respected. The Blue Pencil does not take any responsibility for the same.
It all started with that one fateful day. It was the day when our Chairman decided to address the issues being faced by the students. Amongst these issues, the most pressing one was the issue of hostel timings for girls. Even though there had been a lot of efforts made by our super-seniors in the yesteryears to try and convince the authorities to lift the hostel timings for girls, it was the first time that the girls united into one strong unit and it was felt that this time, things might just take a different turn. This effort, if successful, would have allowed girls to roam freely around the campus all night long.
But it has been often quoted by our elders that life can unpredictable. Well in this case, it became even more valid when girls, in order to build pressure on the administration, asked the authorities to install fences around the Boys’ Hostel too. It was done when the Chairman refused to lift the timings for the girls and moreover, this was done by the girls with the belief that the authorities won’t be able to say anything once such a demand would be put in front of them. But to everyone’s surprise, this move backfired. The Chairman that day made a promise to the girls that fencing would be indeed installed around the Boys’ Hostel and that there would be curfew timings for them as well.
And while these events were unfolding, I observed that the battle for equality was fast turning into something else entirely. It was turning into a battle of the genders. And what ensued in the concurrent days, was a whole lot of blame-game between the two genders. And while a lot of people are busy explaining their own sides, I decided to take a backseat and build a neutral stance in response to this battle.
What we are seeing in the present is the grave mistrust that has plummeted between the two genders of our college. We need to understand one simple fact that when someone starts fighting for what is right; such goals can never be achieved without a united front. And in my honest opinion, none of the people reading this piece would disagree with me when I say that what the girls are fighting for in the college, is absolutely for the right. Then why this mistrust in the first place?
The answer to this question lies in one simple word, and that word is ‘communication’. Both the genders have failed to realize this one simple aspect of ‘effective communication’. I think that this fight would have been a lot easier if both the genders were fighting for this one simple goal, together. But where did we fail? We failed at building trust by effective communication. So what followed after this ‘demand’ by girls is a complex cobweb of emotions that boys went through. Boys started to believe that the girls wanted them to be locked up, just like them. The boys failed to understand that the girls never made this demand with the intention of getting them locked up. They were using it just as leverage in order to force the authorities to comply with their demand. And on the other hand, we also need to accept the fact that the girls were not able to communicate their intentions effectively to the boys. All of us lunged at each other at the very first chance that we got. And who gained the most out of this grudge-match between the two genders? Everybody knows the answer.
Since our childhood, we have been taught through the pages of our History books that the Britishers employed the policy of ‘Divide & Rule’. But in our college’s case, especially in context with the issue at hand, it was ‘US’, boys & girls put together, who gave them the opportunity to be ruled when divided. They didn’t have to divide us. We presented ourselves as ‘divided’ at the very first instance and voila! There went Archimedes running and shouting ‘Eureka! Eureka! Eureka!’
And imagine this one beautiful thought. If we achieved an extension in hostel timings for girls through a divided approach, what could have been accomplished if it were a joint effort by both the genders? The Army Institute of Law would perhaps have been a trendsetter for lifting curfew timings for girls and who knows, we might have moved an inch closer to our beloved Vision 2020 (pun intended, of course). But more so, maybe, just maybe, for the very first time, one of the best colleges would have followed ‘US’.
A man for a woman and a woman for a man is what it takes to achieve equity and equality. So let us not degrade ourselves by being divided. Rationality is what we all need.