Girls must have access to Maulana Azad Library of AMU

Girls must have access to Maulana Azad Library of AMU

Students union at the women’s college which is a part of Aligarh Muslim University has often raised the issue of girls not being issued membership of Maulana Azad Library which is a part of AMU. Recently while addressing the demands of the students union, vice-chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Lieutenant General (retired) Zameeruddin Shah said that allowing girls in the library would increase the number of boys visiting the library to four times than usual. He also said that this would lead to disciplinary issues. Should girls be denied access to the library just because boys would crowd it to see them?

Yes, girls must be provided access to the library:

1. The students of women’s college are also a part of the AMU and according to reports, Maulana Azad library is better stocked with books than the library at the women’s college. It is the right of the girls there to have access to the best of knowledge and information that is provided by the university.

2. The idea of banning girls from library is not denying them equal right to education but also treating them like distracting objects. This is the same kind of thought that states that women invite rapes when they wear provocative clothes.

3. Rights from the initiation of the library, women were not allowed membership there. We do not expect educational institutes to be making such discriminations on grounds of gender. For whatever reason the library initially did not allow women, it is time when these rules should be amended and the university must make provisions for allowing students of women college proper access to the library.

4. The VC later modified his comment stating that it is not about discrimination but the lack of space which is the real problem. This statement cannot be taken to be true as the library has 12 seats reserved for women students of AMU. 1,300 for boys and just 12 for girls is an odd ratio to consider equal and leaves behind no space for false excuses being made in the name of space.

5. With 1,300 boys in there, the university is able to handle all disciplinary issues and things seem to be running smooth when we all know violence and indiscipline is more of boy’s thing than girls. How can allowing girls inside library create disciplinary issues? Is the university not safe enough for girls to share the space of the library with boys? These questions clearly have an answer and that shows the bias nature of the rules.

No, the issue is being wrongly interpreted:

1. With only 1,300 seats it is quite obvious that there is shortage of space in the library and suddenly allowing girls also in the library which is usually very crammed with boys might lead to disciplinary issues like eve-teasing, etc. If there is not adequate space, it is wise to avoid more students from cramming the same place.

2. The rule is not at all about alienating girls and the media misinterpreted it on wrong grounds. The college supports women empowerment and thirty five per cent girls study in AMU, which is much more than any other college.

3. Only undergraduate girls are not issued memberships of the library. Girls of postgraduate courses and research have access to the library which makes it clear that it is not about gender discrimination.

4. With the introduction of online catalogues in the library, any student of the women's college can order any book from the Maulana Azad Library, and on the next day, the book is delivered to the student. All the books of the Maulana Azad Library are available online and the students are provided those books whenever they ask for them.


It can be considered that the lack of space if a genuine issue at the library and that allowing girls at the same time might lead to overcrowding of the library but instead of stopping girls from accessing the library, the university must find solutions to solve this issue. However, not allowing access of library to girls for any reasons is something that is not acceptable in the society.
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  • RE: Girls must have access to Maulana Azad Library of AMU -Pallavi (11/18/14)

  • Today after 67 years of independence, we people still facing the problem of discrimination. There are two points come after this, first is at one side you are giving education, which is birth right of any individual. In India we think girls and boys have same capability to work, to earn and to make their career. And our government also supports this.
    I do agree, it might possible that management may face space problems but it should not be the remedy on this. By Indian law, there is equal importance to male and female and no one can refuse to accept this fact.
    The second point they are mentioning is regarding discipline, But if you are making statement which is implied that the girls are responsible to break the discipline then there is no base for this statement, Many more examples can be given where girls are better disciplined than boys. If management thinks that boys are getting distracted and this activity is leading to disciplinary issue. Then management has to rethink on their thinking.
    On one side they are the knowledge provider on the contrary they are making separation between girls and boys.