By Raza Ruman
(Pak Destiny) While the other Pakistani media has put expulsion of 320 female students of Minhajul Quran University Lahore Dawn newspaper has smacked in the face of notorious Khurram Gandapur and boss Dr Tahirul Qadri for their inhumane treatment of girl students. Express News is also an exception that took on this Gandapur for his notorious act.
The media must come up and put pressure on these so-called religious figures to take their cruel decision back. Otherwise it must boycott the Pakistan Awami Tehreek.
As Gandapur told the girls that they did not see his real colour… now the people of Pakistan has seen both his real face and real colour and want him out of the varsity affairs and politics.
Dawn writes: For protesting against not being given permission to attend an Iftar party, which would fall after their 6pm curfew, 320 female students of Minhajul Quran University Lahore were expelled on Sunday.
A few days before, a leaked video of Pakistan Awami Tehreek leader Khurram Nawaz Gandapur verbally abusing the students went viral.
It showed him, in a fit of rage, accusing them of not being raised properly, insinuating what fate might befall them in a private hostel, and threatening to have them all thrown out. However, as per the PAT’s own spokesperson, the varsity’s affairs are not Mr Gandapur’s responsibility.
This incident is indicative of our culture’s deeply problematic relationship with its youth. Our authority figures (even self-appointed ones) often forget that respect is earned; it cannot be taken for granted as a right.
Their distorted perception, and its corollary, that young people must respect the powerful without question, has led us down many a wrong path.
Added to this is the gendered moral policing of female students through onerous regulations on their attire, physical proximity to male students and movement.
The varsity has a duty of care to ensure the safety and good conduct of its students on campus, but this should not (even if, allegedly, at the behest of parents) extend to infantilising students, most of whom are legally adults.
While it is unjust to penalise the students en masse for the protests of a few, even those few have the right to protest.
Any institute committed to imparting a progressive education must be aware of the need to redress the patriarchal silencing of women by encouraging a safe space in which they can speak up — even in disagreement — without intimidation.
As for the expulsion itself, the varsity must immediately reinstate the students and issue a formal apology for Mr Gandapur’s unbecoming behaviour. -Pak Destiny