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‘Maal aur maal’: DU’s Hindu College welcomes freshers with misogynistic poster

A day after the poster received online backlash, the Hindu College Parliament issued a statement on its official Facebook page condemning the incident.

delhi Updated: Oct 07, 2017 15:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
sexism,Delhi university,Pinjra Tod
Facebook users called the banner ‘disgusting’, ‘sad’, ‘patriarchal’, ‘perverted’ and ‘shameful’.(Pinjra Tod Facebook page)

Delhi University’s Hindu College recently welcomed freshers with a rather ‘shamelessly gendered and misogynistic’ poster. A sign on campus read, ‘Hindu mein maal aur maal dono milta hai.’ The Hindustani word ‘maal’ literally translates to ‘goods’, but is often used colloquially to refer to drugs and as a derogatory way to describe women.

The poster grabbed attention when Pinjra Tod posted the photo on their Facebook page on October 4, sent in by a student. “A student sent the derogatory poster to out group, and we then put it out on our page,” one of the admins of the page told Indian Express.

Facebook users called the banner ‘disgusting’, ‘sad’, ‘patriarchal’, ‘perverted’ and ‘shameful’.

Pinjra Tod: Break the Hostel Locks is a student group that advocates for equal rights and non-discriminatory accommodation for female students across Delhi.

The student run organisation said the aim behind sharing the photo was to bring in focus the many ways in which patriarchy reinforces itself everyday on campuses. “We may be studying in a university, we maybe sitting in classes together, but women are to be primarily seen as sexual objects of exchange amongst men,” read the Facebook post.

A day after the poster received online backlash, the Hindu College Parliament issued a statement on its official Facebook page condemning the incident. Brijesh Tiwari, Hindu College Prime Minister, said the Parliament would do its best to nip all such practices in the bud and ensure that the student-driven crusade against misogyny never weakens.

“We at the Parliament consider it our utmost endeavour to arrive at a stage of gender equality, withering of misogynist practices and tendencies and an overall climate of equal opportunities for all genders. We recognise how such phrases and their usage become an impediment in trying to achieve all of the above,” wrote Tiwari.

Tiwari said that the everyday misogyny that leads to such phrases being used for women is deeply entrenched and works in insidiuos ways. “We will work to do everything in our mandate to ensure that these phrases are rendered out of fashion and unprincipled for anybody to use.”

This is not the first time Hindu College, one of Delhi University’s celebrated institutions, has found itself in the news for the rampant sexism that operates within its walls. The college’s annual Valentine’s Day tradition ‘Virgin Tree Puja’ saw students decorating the tree with balloons, condoms and posters of the actress considered the hottest that year. The tree was eventually taken down by the authorities during the construction of a new block on college grounds in 2016.

First Published: Oct 07, 2017 15:42 IST