While we all know India has been a difficult and patriarchal country for women to live in, we also know that there are certain unacceptable norms that desperately need a revamp. Forget that, a piece of news coming from Gujarat is an example of regression that has taken us back as a society and it is infuriating, humiliating and bizarre. A principal from a college (run by Swaminarayan Mandir followers) in Gujarat's Bhuj insulted women students, "parading" and forcing them to remove their underwear to prove they weren't on their period. Yes! This happened!
According to a media report, these women "violated" norms banning menstruating women from touching other people and entering religious places. College students have shared shocking stories and alleged blackmail, calling it a "routine". The principal had received a "complaint" about menstruating women who entered the kitchen and temple. These women were interrupted during lessons and were also publicly asked as to which of them was on her period. They were then taken to the restroom forced to take off their underwear.
Reports suggest that a soiled sanitary napkin was found in the garden inside the hostel premises on Monday and triggered the so-called investigation.
Some students were also told that they are welcome to go to court, but with conditions. The women were then told to leave the school hostel and sign a declaration. And the sad part is that neither the trustee nor the principal responded to the requests. There's another student who alleged that college authorities had subjected their parents to emotional blackmail and asked them to not seek any kind of police intervention.
In the latest update, a "disturbed" National Commission for Women has promised to set up an inquiry team.
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