The Safe Haven that Manipal was

It is with great shame and anger that I write this article.

Here I am, just a few weeks since I became an official graduate from Manipal University and those memories of all the fun I had with my friends still echo fresh in my heart and soul. At such a moment, it is painful to be informed that a girl was abducted right from the center of the campus and sexually assaulted.

I pray for the victim but at the same time I am shocked, angry and frightened at the effects of what has happened and what it could mean to all of us.

The country has crossed its peak of tolerance towards crime against women. We are witnessing the emergence of a revolution in the system where we are moving towards more transparency. Delhi gang rape has not been forgotten yet. And at such a moment, to be informed of this outrageous event will boil anyone’s blood especially for a person like me, who always considers himself a true Manipalite.

I still remember the time when I was in first year in 2009. The curfew still used to be 12.00 am. And it was not till the last two years that we saw a paradigm shift towards the change in curfew timings. I mean no offence and I say it with immense respect but anyone who was there with me during 2009 to 2013 would agree that KMCIC was at its full strength with a much more NRI population roaming the campus then what we see now. Yet we never ran into any such incident.

I feel it is time the university and especially the district administration realize that controlling the curfew and closing down pubs is not a solution. We had more clubs then and girls were freer than today yet they were safer. The administration needs to know that taking measures such as placing a curfew of 10 pm is equal to asking women to not step outside. It is equal to our money minded and unsympathetic politicians and bureaucrats asking women to not wear “instigating” clothes because they have FAILED to control crime. They feel that locking oneself indoors means that crime has become non-existent.

Manipal Meme
Image Credit: Dr. Kanwar Singh at Kanwars Blog
Meme Credit: Mandeep Bains

What we need is stronger and more importantly – efficient campus security. Not just guards who sleep and are least interested in their duties but guards who realize that they are watching over the lives and safety of a couple of thousand students who are the future of not just India, but the world too. The police can do better than walking into clubs and beating up people and they of all should realize that the real people who need the beating are walking unscathed and untouched.

And foremost, I pray that God drops some sense into the local auto-drivers and some sick-minded localites. They should know that their sole existence and livelihood is dependent on the university. Such an incident will affect the name of the university especially with the admission season running. With no students, there will be no Manipal and no source of income for them.

We the people should take it upon ourselves to make sure that proper action is taken. I am not asking you to march in protest, as they are forgotten easily. What I ask is that we all take an initiative where we make a resolve to protect our campus from these anti-social elements by playing a more active role.

We need to fight this crime by not imposing limitations but in a way that ensures freedom… not just for women but everyone… so we can study at ease and enjoy the phase of our life called “College-life” the way it should be enjoyed while feeling safe and secure.

About Aersh 9 Articles

I am a lone wolf in the wolf pack…

  • Shrutisudha

    The culprits should be caught, named, and their faces shown. That would be a start.

  • Merin

    instead of protests all people in manipal stop using auto until the crime is solved atleast

  • zenguru

    manipal was known for its great culture of peace and amity with no crimes………these rascals have disturbed the ambience irreversably…………it is such a blot that millions of aspiring students will think twice before coming to manipal in future…….. will the medical college administration which mints billions of dollars get its act together and iron fence the campus against such crimes by having its own security – they can afford it and must do it – high time we see visible action on the ground……………..the students of the medical college must ensure that the police take this case to its logical conslusion so that it is not erased from memory as all such incidents do in india

  • zenguru

    What happenned was tragic and beyond imagination……. the local police must act with determination and book the three criminals in a non bailable offence- it may be appropriate for the criminals to be thrashed and stoned in public after being tied to a tree in the CAMPUS so that the spectacle of punishment serves as a warning .It is time for all young women of manipal to carry small kitchen knives with them so that any slightest attempt to outrage their modesty will mean that the man’s (!!!) get instantly chopped off …………why has indian society degenerated into such animal behaviour……….whereare we going………………….I feel desperately sorry for the poor girl and send her all my prayers so that she survives this incident with courage and determination ………….may the gods give her strength and will power………………….

  • Concerned Student

    Wow. By saying “KMCIC was at its full strength with a much more NRI population roaming the campus then what we see now. Yet we never ran into any such incident” are you trying to say that they asked for it and caused trouble? I can assure you that the strength of NRI students you saw was nothing compared to what I saw in 2007 and yes they were notorious but IN THEIR OWN HOMES. You want to see drama on the street on weekend nights, more than 70% of the time its not NRIs. Who is getting majority of the abortions from Sonia clinic? Not the NRI ones. Who are the drunk, unconscious girls that need to be carried out of blues every weekend? Not the NRI ones so please don’t make assumptions without your facts and that is VERY inappropriate for you to be putting in your article. It is very unfortunate what has happened and it shouldn’t be happening to anyone in any country. My prayers go to the girl and I hope she has the strength to be strong.

    • The author

      Well.. I agree with your opinion completely and even when I wrote that line I knew it might sound inappropriate to some. But those words of mine are an answer to those people who blame it all on the foreigners and NRIs… To all these so called moral police.. How can they blame it on anyone? The country assures us freedom to wear what we want and it is responsibility of the authorities to ensure our safety… If they cannot do so they may as well inform us so we the people can deal with the criminals ourselves.

      My point was just what you have mentioned yourself. Manipal was way safer without any restrictions.

      Let people be lie drunk in the streets.. Its no excuse to kill them. Abortions do not mean we rape our women.

      During my time I served in the MU students’ core council and in one of the meetings with the CSO and Director, Student Affairs, it was appaling for me when they lectured us on indian values and how IC and foreigners should exert certain control. But what was assuring was the fact that the students unanimously spoke up saying that times are changing and society should adapt especially a society as global and cosmopolitan as Manipal

  • kalthechiver

    Maybe just maybe, those pathetic worthless pieces of trash security “dobermen” might just start doing their job. Instead of just harassing students. If the auto rickshaw guy had a whistle in their mouth they might’ve just heard em coming. An about the CSO. Are you kidding? Resign? What for? That’s the cowards way out. Should stay and get this over with. An If Manipal.edu really wanted a safe haven for the students, there would be shuttle buses, people would gladly pay the Rs 10000 a year extra that they’ve forced for the garbage Marena to get shuttles for themselves. It’s not difficult. Barricading the University, just makes it more un safe as now the students will have to go outside of the university to get autos.