DU rules play spoilsport for Holi on campus

Delhi University students are unhappy with this year’s strict ruling which bars them from playing Holi on the campus and in colleges.

Holi falls on March 27. According to a university notification, water balloons, colours, water pistols and playing Holi on the campus will not be allowed. Officials said the move can be seen in the light of checking hooliganism.

“Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has a history of celebrating Holi on the campus. But DU has made the security measures for the festival quite stringent since last year. I fail to understand how curbing the celebrations will help in preventing hooliganism,” said Sakshi Nagar, an undergraduate student of Political Science (honours).

“There are a lot of ways to check hooliganism like increasing police presence on the campus and gender sensitisation. We are students and many of us are not from this city but we want to play Holi in the campus as we reside here,” she said.

Last year, the university had made elaborate security arrangements ahead of the festival from  asking for assistance from the DTC buses plying on the campus to appointing student volunteers to check hooliganism. The nearby roadside dhabas were also shut down for a few days.

“A lot of people think of Holi as a festival to take advantage for touching women without their permission. It is like they get a licence because it is difficult to recognise the culprits. But when complaints of such untoward incidents are registered, what does DU really do about it?” questioned Aradhana Tiwari, a Lady Shri Ram College student.

“You need one strict punishment to avoid these incidents. The DU and also the government, however, opt for a convenient way frequently to deal with such issues. If you cannot curb them, ban things,” she said.

According to the notification, outsiders will not be allowed in the campus. The entry of guests in the hostels will be checked during the festive season.

“Senior DU officials will keep a check on the activities in the campus through CCTV cameras from the control room throughout the day. We have also put notices of control room helpline numbers in colleges,” said a senior official.

“Police officers in plainclothes and uniform will also make rounds frequently,” the official added.

“Last year, a girl from Khalsa College had alleged that she was molested. There were also eyewitnesses but DU and the college authorities washed their hands off the case,” said Tushar Mehta, a postgraduate student.

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