The incident in Kollam is one of the many bizarre occurrences where women have been subject to "moral policing" in some of the most immoral ways.
Young women who appeared for the NEET Test at a private educational institution in Kerala's Kollam, suffered a humiliating experience last week when they had to remove part of their undergarments to be allowed to write the exam.
The father of a 17-year-old, who was sitting for her first NEET Exam, claimed that she is yet to come out of this traumatic experience. He went on to say that she had to sit for the over 3-hour long exam without a brassier
"They said take your bra in your hand and leave, no need to wear them. We were very embarrassed to hear that. But everyone waited to change. It was dark and there was no place to change. It was a terrible experience," the teen told NDTV
This is not the first time such an incident has come to light in Kerala. In 2017, a female student taking the medical entrance test in Kannur was also ordered to remove her undergarments. The spine-chilling incident has reinstated how unsafe women are in centers of education.
Here's a look at some instances where female students have been harassed.
60 women students in Kutch forced to remove their undergarments by Hostel authorities
In February 2020, over 60 women students of a college in Bhuj in Gujarat's Kutch district were allegedly forced by hostel authorities to remove their undergarments to check if they were menstruating.
As the allegation came to light and caused an uproar, several FIRs were lodged in the case. The college principal, hostel rector and the peon were also suspended within a few days after police lodged an FIR against them and others.
Female students in Bikaner have their sleeves cut, bras removed outside examination hall
In 2021, a male security guard was photographed cutting the sleeves of the candidates as a measure to "avoid cheating" in the Rajasthan Eligibility Examination For Teachers (REET) under the garb of strictness. The NCW Chairperson had then sought also an explanation as to why was there no female security guard to search the candidates at the centre.
Assam: 19-year-old made to cover her legs with a curtain
In another such misogynistic case the same year, a 19-year-old girl from Assam was made to cover her legs with a curtain during the examination because she was wearing shorts. Jublee Tamuli had gone to the Girijananda Chowdhury Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (GIPS) in September 2021 to sit for the Assam Agricultural University (AAU) only to be humiliated at the examination center. The exam controller went on to ask her to get a "full-sized" pant before covering her legs with a curtain.
Pune: Women staffers at exam centre booked for "strip-searching" Class 12 candidates
In 2018, two women staffers of an examination centre in Pune were booked under Section 354( assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the IPC after many Class12 students alleged that they were "strip-searched" before an exam. The incident occurred at the
Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination centre in the city's Loni Kalbhor area.
What is the NEET Dress code?
The NEET information brochure 2022 spells out a dress code. In it, Candidates are not allowed to wear light clothes with long sleeves in examination halls. Slippers & sandals with low heels are permitted, but shoes are not. It is to be noted that the advisory states that candidates will be subjected to extensive and compulsory frisking "with the help of highly sensitive metal detectors". Also, female candidates will be frisked inside a closed enclosure by female staff only.
The incident in Kollam is one of the many occurrences where women have been subject to "moral policing" in some of the most immoral ways.The central government has ordered a probe into the incident after Kerala Higher Education Minister R Bindu stated the test was not organised by a state-run agency and what happened indicated a grave lapse on the part of the organisers.
"The shame and shock of this unexpected turn of events have affected the morale and composure of the students whose performance in the test was consequently affected," she wrote to the union minister Kerala MPs NK Premachandran and Rajya Sabha MP Jebi Mather have given the suspension of business notice over the incident and demanded a discussion on the same.