A student of the Mahila Maha Vidyalaya, affiliated to the Banaras Hindu University in Uttar Pradesh, was allegedly asked to leave the girls' hostel because she showed "homosexual tendencies". However, she has not been expelled from the college.
According to The Indian Express, the woman's parents, who are from rural Uttar Pradesh, were called by the authorities and asked to take her away to get treated for her "disease". College officials, on the other hand, maintained that the first year BA (Hons.) student was accused of harassing her fellow residents for help with her homework.
It is impossible to know which party to believe in this case, but calling homosexuality a "disease" in the 21st century, especially by members of an educational organisation, is unacceptable, even morally depraved. It bespeaks of a regressive mindset that takes away the credibility of the institution as a cite of learning and knowledge.
The woman, who is blind in one eye, had allegedly threatened to commit suicide if the other students didn't help her with her work, said Neelam Atri, assistant professor and chief coordinator of the hostels. She dismissed the charges of homosexuality, even as she confirmed that the accused was "not well". She had been "scaring" others with "her activities and indiscipline", Atri said, based on the written complaints she has received from other students.
In spite of the conflicting versions of what exactly transpired, it is clear that the authorities were at fault for dismissing the student from the hostel without a thorough enquiry or counselling. Disturbing behaviour of any kind, especially from a vulnerable youth, merits keen attention on the well-being of the person, not flippant action that can cause lasting damage to her.
The stigma of such an abrupt removal from the hostel is also likely to leave the woman hesitant about going to the college, although she hasn't been technically dismissed from the institution. As one of her fellow students pointed out anonymously to The Indian Express, "How is she going to face her class now? She has to study with the same women students (whose complaint brought about her removal from the hostel)."
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