On January 5th, a masked mob brutally attacked students and teachers of Jawaharlal Nehru University. Hours after the incident, students across the country took to the streets to protest against the horrific incident, with even Bollywood celebrities coming out to support the cause.
However, even as photos of the masked people started going viral on Twitter, police made no arrests for over 36 hours.
In the aftermath of the event, a lot of photos from the incident started going viral, which also led to a lot of fake news. One such ‘viral image’ which started circulating was a picture of sex toys, dildos, anal beads and lubricants along with condoms. The pictures, were shared as ‘found in JNU girls hostel rooms.’
#JNU में हुई #तोड़फोड़ के बाद #गर्ल्स हॉस्टल में #बिखरा हुआ #सामान #धन्य हैं यहां की स्टूडेंट।बहुत दुख हुआ इन लोगों की बुक्स देखकर सब फट गई है। pic.twitter.com/UNhuGjuVoM— Lucky Chaudhary (@lucky_deshwal) January 6, 2020
कल शाम JNU विश्वविद्यालय में तोडफ़ोड़ के दौरान छात्रों के कुछ कीमती वस्तुओं को नुकसान पहुंचाया गया जिसमे कॉन्डोम और सेक्स टॉयज शामिल pic.twitter.com/eoKCDPK0pG — बाबा ब्लादिमीर पुतिन नाथ TPN (कानपुर वाले) (@Shubham85395292) January 6, 2020
If the carpeted floor and the heat vent weren’t enough indicators, these photos are fake, and definitely not from the ‘JNU girls hostel’ as the posts claim.
The first image is actually from August 2015, where a Reddit user posted that he “dug through the dumpster for sex toys today," with a link to the photo itself, hosted on Imgur. Infact, the user himself came out and posted on the subreddit of India to clarify that the images were indeed his.
The second picture is from 2018, and hosted on Imgur, and found with a quick Google reverse image search.
While these images are proven fake, it does raise the question, what if they weren’t? Why would girls having dildos or condoms in their hostel rooms be a problem? News alert for all the ‘sanskari’ trolls, especially for the ones in the back, women have sex. And if they are having safe sex, or simply, orgasms, why is it any of your business?
The hostels at JNU, especially, the women’s (Sabarmati) were raided. They were vandalized, the privacy of the students violated. The contents of their cupboards tossed out and put on display for the world. It is a huge breach of privacy and personal space, and if you should be outraged about something, shouldn’t it be about what the women were subjected to, and not what they choose to do in their personal lives?
In a country where sex education rates are dismally low and women having sex, especially pre-marital sex is a taboo, and people troll Swara Bhaskar for simply enacting an orgasm on the silver screen, this wouldn’t come as a surprise. However, every time, it is disappointing. What women choose to do behind closed doors and with their bodies, is their decision.
Instead of directing your outrage at whether the objects found revealed the ‘character’ of the women, maybe we need to stop and think about what kind of people we are if we are judging the contents of women’s private items, and not the breach of privacy itself.