VIT University officials have denied that restrictions imposed on women students were a case of gender discrimination, but many students insisted the gender-based curbs were unfair.
“The two suspended students were also forced to remove the posts. Now they are waiting at home, but the university has still not sent them any communication indicating when they can rejoin,” said another student. Some students said the online survey was an eye-opener with many respondents stating that the discrimination was unfair and that the curfew deprived them of many opportunities. “You can either go for a GRE/MBA class or volunteer with an NGO, not both, because you can go out only once a week,” said a student. They were also critical of the suspension.
VIT University officials, however, said the two students had been sent home “only to be away from the commotion,” and can return in a few days. “The students started a campaign based on the misplaced notion that the university discriminates against women, which is not true,” said Sekar Viswanathan, vice president, VIT University. The university, he said, gave equal opportunities to male and female students when it came to access to facilities, scholarships and employment.
“The difference in in-time is only to make sure our female students are safe, especially at times when crimes against women are on the rise,” he added. The father of one of the students said the university was not at fault, and that they had brought back their daughter, as “she had a misconceived idea that the university was discriminating against women.” “We have advised our daughter that these are precautions and not discrimination,” he added.