NEW DELHI: The Centre swung into action Tuesday and demanded an explanation from Aligarh Muslim University’s vice-chancellor over its bizarre order not allowing women undergraduates access to the main campus library, with HRD minister Smriti Irani saying it was an “insult to daughters”.
The AMU, however, cited space constraints and denied the charge that it was “sexist”.
Irani said the higher education secretary was told to seek an explanation from AMU V-C Zameer Uddin Shah, and she would react only after getting a report.
“There are some reports which hurt you as a woman and also agitate you… When we attained freedom there was a belief that education and constitutional rights were the same for all.
“Now we get reports that (are an) insult to daughters,” Irani said.
The vice-chancellor rejected the demand by students of AMU’s Women’s College for access to its Maulana Azad Library, saying there would be “more boys” in the library if girls were allowed in.
Minority Affairs minister Najma Heptullah said the remarks were “appalling” and “shocking”, while new MoS Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said these were “not acceptable in a civilised society”.
AMU Women’s College students’ union chief Gulfiza Khan said that instead of imposing restrictions, the college should introduce safety measures for women.
“I don’t think there should be any restrictions, but if it is about safety and security, university officials should take other measures that don’t (curb) women’s privileges.” – From the Asian Age