Times have changed. Quite literally. A major change that students (those residing in MU Hostels) experienced was a notice announcing the change in curfew hours. The upper limit of Hostel entry time, which was 12 o’ clock midnight, was changed to 11 o’ clock. Likewise the Health Sciences Library had its time of closure reduced from 11.30 to 10 o’ clock. The decision was taken at a recent meeting held with Superintendent of Police and other officials in view of security situation.
While this exasperated some, others appreciated it and for the rest ‘it didnt matter’.
So what is the exasperation about? There are people who liken the decision to a stifling of freedom. They believe that such a forced decision takes away the ‘cool’ tag from campus life. That extra hour of fun, relaxing, cutting loose, time spent with friends, boyfriends and girlfriends is their right (even if not fundamental) and should not be snatched away. The unhappier lot thinks that 11 is too early to get back to your rooms. The ‘library people’ (you know who you are) are fuming as it takes away an hour of study, which they do best in the library.
The set of people who are happy with it are happy because they feel 11 in the night is not ‘too early’ by any stretch of imagination. That more and more hours let outside are recipes to brew trouble. And at the time when there is a percieved security issue, it is better to be safe, even if it means coming back to hostels little early. The ‘library people’ supporting the decision have a realization that taking away one hour from the entire library time would not make a difference in the ‘productive’ hours.
For people to whom the decision doesnt matter might fall in many categories. Ones who do not go to library, they like studying in their rooms. The students staying in appartments and also not going to library are least concerned. There are anyway appartments with stricter rules than the one which is subject to discussion now. Also people who do not like venturing out to ‘social hangouts’ (read whatever you wish to) are not fluttered by the decision.
Is the change of timings good or bad? It is only human to reject ‘change’. The moment a change, especially ones that affects our daily routine, is enforced, we react. We react all the more if we have not been part of making the decision of the change. However we may pose to ourselves some questions – can we be part of any and every decision that affects us? Are we willing to believe that there indeed is a security risk that authorities have assessed.
Coming to the time per se, I recall when I was a student and used to inform my friends and family about the curfew timing of midnight, they used to be shocked. For the reason that many institutions, reputed ones, do have much stricter time policies. When I was a in my graduation we used to get back by 7.30. But times have changed. The average sleeping time has been pushed to much later. My friends will cite me as an example to that effect. Hence the question, is 11 o clock in the night ‘early’ to get back to hostel?
It probably is because we were used to 12 that we are unhappy about it. It is probably the good we see in the change of time that we are happy about it. Amidst all the wide range of emotions it has evoked, the change is here to stay. Until it is changed again.
(The views expressed are of the author and has no relation to policy matters)