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Don't try to be a boy: How the BHU VC put his foot in the mouth

GC Tripathi's media interactions have only worsened the perception about the university administration

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

An injured student writhing in pain after police allegedly beat them up during a clash at BHU, Varanasi.
An injured student writhing in pain after police allegedly beat them up during a clash at BHU, Varanasi.

Protests by girl students of Banaras Hindu University demanding better security on campus and the subsequent lathi charge by the police on the students have attracted attention over the last few days. 

Now, the university has been brought back into focus by the interviews given by Vice Chancellor, Girish Chandra Tripathi. Yesterday, Tripathi spoke to different media organisations and his statements have raised a few eyebrows. The statements reveal the mindset girl students in are struggling against. 

We look at some of the statements made by him in the interviews

Not a case of molestation but eve-teasing

The incident that had sparked the protests by the female students was an incident of a student being molested by a man on the campus. In an interview to NDTV 24x7, VC Tripathi said, “This was not a case of molestation. This was a simple case of eve-teasing.”

You're a girl, don't try to become a boy

The Telegraph reports that when the incident took place, the girl students complained to the VC on Thursday night, he is alleged to have said told the victim, "Forget about what happened. Why don't you stop stepping out after 6pm if you dislike such things? You're a girl, don't try to become a boy (by moving around after sunset)." 

Outsiders did it

In an interview to Indian Express, the VC blamed outsiders for having created the issue in the university. The Telegraph also reports that he blamed students from JNU and Delhi University for having instigated the protests. 

“Some people with vested interests and ulterior motives have triggered this incident. The students, if they had a grievance or complaint, should have suggested to the university to do something. But there is a mindset to disturb institutions of higher learning. is not alone. Every university in the country is being disturbed”, he told Indian Express

This was done because the PM was visiting

Tripathi told both Indian Express and NDTV (in an interview to Ravish Kumar) that the incident had been manufactured prior to the Prime Minister’s visit to Varanasi. Varanasi is PM Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency. He was asked whether he was saying that the molestation was done with a political purpose in mind. He did not answer.

“They are those who are not committed to the nation but work only for their individual selves. They don’t care about the nation or its institutions. For them, personal benefit is everything. The Prime Minister was to visit and that’s why, I feel, all this was done. The molestation was done to trigger this fiasco is what I feel.”, he told Indian Express.

Security for boys and girls can never be at par

The VC was asked about girls feeling insecure on the campus and he told Indian Express that their security can be ensured inside hostels because of which curfew timings had been fixed. 

He told Indian Express: 
“We can ensure their safety in the hostel, that is why there are curfew timings. But there are no such timings on the road outside, incidents happen. But what is important is how we handle the incident. This is such a big campus, anything can happen anywhere. We cannot assign a guard to every student.

Security for boys and girls can never be at par. If we are going to listen to every demand of every girl we won’t be able to run the university. All these rules are for their safety, all in favour of the girl students.”

First Published: Tue, September 26 2017. 14:01 IST