Joachim Breitner

Satire on Gender Issues at IIT Bombay

Published 2011-06-02 in sections English, Indien.

IIT Bombay, like most likely most Indian educational instituates, has some rules and regulations about the interaction between boys and girls that, at least to the uninitiated eye of a foreigner who was brought up in a liberal society, seem arbitrary and archaic. At IIT Bombay, for example, there may be no visits in hostels by students of the other gender (yes, there are separate boys’ and girls’ hostels) between 10pm and 7am, and during the day any such visit has to be registered at the reception security guard. And when there was need for more room for girls and they reassigned one wing of a boys’ hostel to the adjacent girls’ hostel, they closed the connection by bricking it and split the lawn by a fence. With barbed wire on top.

I took this as a theme for a satirical inspection of these policies which comes to the conclusion that IIT Bombay is a very progressive institute that puts these rules in place as affirmative action towards same-gender relationships. After some discussion with the editors the text got actually published in the institutes’ bi-monthly newspaper “Raintree”, unfortunately only now, two weeks after I left India. You can read the text on the bottom of page 8 in the 6MB PDF file.

I cannot predict how it will be received, but at least Utkarsh Raut, who illustrated the text, clearly got the message right. Thanks for the nice and very fitting drawing!


Compared to other colleges in Maharashtra state (and probably other states) the policy in IIT is pretty liberal. In other colleges students of other gender are not even allowed near hostel.
#1 Onkar (Homepage) am 2011-06-02
It's funny that in India gay and lesbian students not only have equal rights compared to their heterosexual colleagues, but are even privileged! What a strange world...
#2 Martin am 2011-06-02
FWIW, the University of Coimbatore is more conservative than the ITTB, as well.

I enjoyed reading your article and will start praising affirmative action for the LGBT community whenever I encounter it. That should make some heads spin ;)
#3 Richard Hartmann (Homepage) am 2011-06-02
Fantastic write up. As someone who went to college in India, I appreciate your article! :-)
#4 Kumar Appaiah am 2011-06-03

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