Chanting slogans, catcalling, grown-up men were seen scaling walls, trying to enter the prestigious all- women Miranda House College in Delhi to witness the Diwali mela being organised on the campus on Sunday.
Within an hour of the fest beginning, long queues of students had wrapped around the college. Realising it could not contain any more people, attendees were ordered to evacuate the area and move out.
“Many attendees of the fest, primarily men, went entirely out of control at this move and reacted aggressively when the administration prevented them from being on campus. They entered restricted premises like classrooms, ignored the requests of professors and staff, responded rudely to appeals to behave and invaded the students’ personal space,” a student society of the college said in a statement.
No police case has been filed as yet.
The student society condemned this abuse of power and the “men whose entitlement terrorised an entire campus”.
The students also experienced harassment, catcalling, and inappropriate advances (mostly by men), it said.
“Attendees (mostly men) also chanted slogans and demanded to be let in. Some shouted out undignified assertions where they saw women as objects to be conquered. That, accompanied by the horrifying visuals of men climbing over gates and wall, trying (and succeeding) to enter college premises, made students feel unsafe and stifled on their campus,” the statement further said.
The student society said groups of male students shouted in corridors, slammed classroom doors and attempted to vandalise the property.
“The men on campus viewed women and other gender minorities on campus only as objects of their desire, resulting in an atmosphere where safety, respect and consent had evacuated the premises before anyone else,” it added.
Looking inward, the student society also admitted the lapses on the part of the fest organising committee.
“While we firmly believe that men and other perpetrators of this violence should be held accountable, even the organising committee owes the students and the college an explanation. Their lack of foresight, inability to control the damage, and complete absence as chaos unfolded are inexcusable,” it said.