'Immoral Daughters' in Jamia University Sparks Animated Discussion, 15 September
With the commencement of the Delhi mobilisation process for the MenEngage Global Symposium, several educational institutions joined hands to be a part of it; Jamia Millia Islamia University of Delhi is one of them. Jamia University in collaboration with MenEngage Delhi successfully conducted a Film Screening on 15 September with a hall packed with students eager to learn and to contribute in whichever way possible. A film that narrates the stories of five young Jat women was screened in the FTK hall in the University. Nakul Singh Sawhney’s ‘Immoral Daughters’ is a film which narrates the stories of Jat women who dared to take on the all-powerful Khap Panchayats in the north Indian state of Haryana, and depicts their struggle as they protest “honour” crimes, injustice and social boycotts. The Khaps, patriarchal and casteist pillars of a still-feudal society, oppose “self-choice” marriages and deny young people the right to love.
Students living in a conservative society were keen about getting a deeper insight into the diverse patterns of gender violence prevailing in Indian society. Towards the end a nuanced discussion was initiated by Mr. Satish Singh, deputy director, Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ), a pioneer activist and gender expert who has been working with men for gender equality in the most volatile and sensitive areas of the country. His experiences and lessons were welcomed by the students as they were resonating with the issues these students face in their daily lives.
Satish Singh put forth his concerns about why men should engage in this fight against gender discrimination and gender violence. “It’s time we men accept and understand the nuances of gender discrimination which not only inflicts pain and sorrow on women but also is a burden on men as well.” Men’s idea of women needing to be protected, guided and governed throughout life was absurd, he said. It was time for men to learn that it is not women who need to be guided or regulated but men themselves who need to start acting responsibly towards their counterparts.
The session fostered interest among students in Jamia university on the issue of masculinity and broadened their understanding of gender.