She would abuse us for talking to a boy: Kerala Law Academy girls protest against Lekshmi Nair

Affiliated to neither political party nor students' union, the hostel inmates are staging a protest of their own.
She would abuse us for talking to a boy: Kerala Law Academy girls protest against Lekshmi Nair
She would abuse us for talking to a boy: Kerala Law Academy girls protest against Lekshmi Nair
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There is one protest shed in front of the Kerala Law Academy in Thiruvananthapuram that stands out amidst the brouhaha that has unfolded for the past 22 days, with regard to Dr. Lekshmi Nair’s ouster.

Just a few girls with no placards, banners or flags are seen sitting patiently, waiting for the authorities to take notice of their grievances.

“We don’t belong to any student union or political party. All we want is that we be allowed to live in peace within the college campus. Only those who actually stay at the hostel can know, just how scary an experience it can be,” 21-year-old A Namitha tells The News Minute.

Referring to the cameras adorning the corridors that lead to the bathrooms and the Mess, Namitha talks about just how insecure they feel: “After taking a bath, we are often not fully dressed, as there is no space provided in the bathrooms to hang or keep a change of dress.”

Speaking of living in a constant state of fear and panic at the hostel, Namitha shudders: “To go to the college, we need to cross the Principal’s house. The very thought is unnerving, as on spotting us walk by, it her usual norm to call us and shower us with abuses.

It could be for simply talking to a boy, or for hanging out with friends. The moment she spots a girl talking or hanging out with a boy, the vulgar abuse is sure to start. It is very difficult to predict the exact cause for a trigger of abuse from her, as we pass through her gate.”

Reshma R -another student- affirms Lekshmi’s profuse use of highly derogatory language, while scolding students:

“She sure can scold us, but we fail to understand the need for such demeaning language.  To top it, she goes on to abuse our parents too. Her constant refrain is how she can destroy our future. ‘Thulachukalayum’ (destroy in Malayalam) is her favourite word, while berating a student.”

The hostel inmates insist that their problem is not with the various rules and restrictions imposed on them, but the fact that they are not allowed to live with dignity.

“There are allegations that all we want is to enjoy unrestricted freedom. But we are ready to follow rules and restrictions that don’t aim to merely suffocate us. We too have our pride and dignity. No one has the right to undermine that, for whatever flimsy reason quoted,” reasons Namitha.

She says that there were instances wherein inmates were asked to shift out of the hostel during Moot Court competitions, and were even asked to serve food to male delegates.

Almost all complaints raised by the found to be true by the Sub-Committee constituted by the Kerala University Syndicate to look into the matter. 

Taking this into consideration, the Management on Tuesday had promised the constitution of a Hostel Committee consisting of a senior lady teacher, warden and representatives from among the inmates to look into their problems.

But the agitating inmates want much more than that. They want Lekshmi to go, once and for all. That alone forms the crux of their protest, they reiterate.

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