The termination of BHU VC GC Tripathi, for his sexist comments about female students.
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GC Tripathi, the Vice-Chancellor of Banares Hindu University, a government university, described women who use the official university library at night as 'immoral'. This was also his justification for banning the use of mobile phones after 10 p.m. by the women of BHU. He has also openly stated that women should not eat meat as it makes them impure, while men are subject to no such constraint. Of course, there is also the fact that Professor Tripathi believes that men and women should not be seen together on campus. It is sad that his argument, that such everyday human interaction is against Indian culture, is still seen as one that holds weight. It is even sadder that such arguments have become common to the point where it is easy to become blasé about them.
Such sexism is unacceptable. In the year 2016, its continued existence is a cause for shame. In a country where the very first page of the Constitution prohibits sex-based discrimination, it is absurd. In a country which needs to clean out the cobwebs of millennia of sexism, it is a crime. In a time when the delivery of quality education to our people is one of our most pressing challenges, to maintain such regressive ideas is self-defeating.
Remember the fact that BHU is a state university, funded by taxpayer money. In this context, the blatant sexism expressed by Tripathi acquires another dimension- it becomes state-sponsored sexism. The university is ultimately a government institution, and the VC in question was appointed by the government.
Without bringing any of our political views into this, we demand, in accordance with the Fundamental Rights we, and the female students of BHU possess, that the tenure of GC Tripathi be terminated by the HRD Ministry with immediate effect.Nothing else is acceptable. No apologies or withdrawals will suffice. As a nation, we cannot afford to, or morally justify, having people deny half of humanity the right to study. We especially cannot afford to hand these people positions of power, as the HRD Ministry has handed power to Tripathi.
It is also important to remember that this is not just about BHU. This is a particular in a larger war. If you're a girl who has been told that you cannot be told to something that a boy can, this is your fight. If you've been eve-teased on you way home from college or anywhere else, this is your fight. If you face being treated like a second-class citizen because of the organs you were born with every second of every day, this is your fight. If you are, like the author of this petition, a male, and haven't faced this yourself, but understand that it is unacceptable, this is your fight, not to mention a moral imperative. Such bigotry not only holds back the female students of BHU, but also provides de facto governmental validation to the institutional sexism that is so deeply embedded in the framework of Indian society, which it is the duty of the government to wipe out of existence. In providing this validation, the government and GC Tripathi affect the opportunities afforded to women all over India.
The current administration has made many claims about how it is different from and intends to clean out the mess left behind by the decade-long reign and decades-long dominance of the previous one. If the government wants to show itself as a harbinger of much-needed change, the replacement of Tripathi is a necessity.
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