Kozhikode has been buzzing with protests by activists against what they call gender segregation by the prestigious Farook college. A first year student was suspended last month for allegedly violating the college code of conduct. His fault: he was part of a group of students sitting in a classroom which also had girl students.
While others in the group apologised after the authorities summoned their parents to the college as demanded, Dinu K refused to give a written apology. He was suspended for his defiance.
"Our college told the girls to move away and didn't allow us boys to sit with them. We were told that this wasn't our culture. When we challenged it, they said it's in the rules. I have been suspended because I did not agree to give a written apology. This is a case of gender segregation and I find it oppressive," Dinu K said.
Students say, classrooms at this autonomous college, have separate rows and benches for boys and girls. Also separate spaces, even in the canteen and on the campus.
Despite several calls made to him, the college principal chose not to respond. A faculty member, requesting anonymity, denied gender segregation and defended the college action. Not everyone on the campus seems opposed to these rules. Some students even took out a march in support of the college management.
Shaina S, studying in her second year believes, "These allegations against college are completely wrong. We have never felt discriminated. I am studying in second year. We have all the freedom, just like in other colleges."