Delhi University seems to be opening up to the issue of alternative sexualities. And students and teachers are increasingly discussing homosexuals, bisexuals, transgenders or anyone who does not conform to heterosexual norms of society.
The women’s development cell of Lady Sri Ram College recently arranged a talk by a transgender. The college is also preparing a play on working class lesbian women that it will enact during its college fest in November.
“The main focus has been on sexualities. There are no restrictions on the topics and we basically promote open thinking,” said a final year student.
Colleges like Hindu, St Stephen’s and Ramjas, among others, are working towards open discussions.
“Hindu College still has the old school of thought and we don’t openly discuss these issues,” said Swati Subramanian, head of the students’ union.
Subramanian is all set to revolutionise the college anti-sexual harassment cell by including queers in the group.
“It’s not just girls who face sexual harassment. Gays and lesbians also face a lot of harassment, especially mental harassment,” said Subramanian.
Although DU does not have students queer groups, many external queer groups visit its colleges.
“As a member of the Nigah Media Collective, I have visited DU colleges to show films on gender and sexuality,” said Akhil Katyal, who just finished his MA English in Literature and Gender.
Anjuman, a queer’s collective of JNU students, was disbanded a year back.
“That was probably because the students who had formed it moved on. But there is some talk of activating it again,” said Ankita, a former member of Anjuman.
Teachers are also becoming more vocal on theses issues.
“A few students who opted for the M Phil course on ‘Sexual Dissidence and Modernism: Oscar Wilde and after’ were confused and wanted to understand themselves better,” said Prof Sumanyu Satpathy, who devised the M Phil course.