Moral policing in academic institutions is a deeply ingrained issue across India, which raises concerns about personal freedom, autonomy, and the right to individual expression. It manifests in various forms, often rooted in cultural norms, societal expectations, and patriarchal attitudes.

One prominent aspect is the enforcement of rigid dress codes, subjecting students to excessive scrutiny and judgments that reinforce gender biases and hinder self-expression. Moral policing also extends to monitoring relationships and social interactions, invading students’ privacy and hindering emotional development. The impacts of moral policing on mental health and education are significant, leading to stress, anxiety, compromised learning environments, and stifled creativity.

The tragic suicide of Sradha Satheesh, an engineering student, has brought attention to the mistreatment of students and intensified calls for justice and reform. Challenging and dismantling moral policing in academic institutions’ practices is crucial to fostering an environment that promotes intellectual growth, personal freedom, and respect for diversity within academic institutions and society as a whole.

Hence, Real Research, an online survey app, launched a survey on moral policing in academic institutions in India to gauge public opinion on moral policing in academic institutions.


  • 52.18% express anger towards intrusive behaviors like moral policing, slut-shaming, and non-consensual filming of female students.
  • 30.41% believed college management’s decision to proceed with conducting scheduled exams the day after Sradha’s death was somewhat appropriate.
  • 41.56% indicated that a criminal investigation into the college should possibly be conducted regarding the allegations of intentionally delaying medical assistance.

Our online poll asked respondents whether they were aware of the Sradha Satheesh incident, which showed how rigorous disciplinary policies in schools can result in pupils being mistreated and having their safety put in danger.

The results showed that 36.24% were vaguely familiar with moral policing in India, followed by 32.66% who were not familiar and 31.1% familiar.

Students have highlighted offensive behaviors, such as slut-shaming, moral policing, and the non-consensual photography of female students, as the actions they experienced. We inquired about respondents’ opinions on this.

Figure 1: Respondents’ opinions on the above statement.

According to Figure 1, a significant 52.18% of respondents felt angry, followed by 19.91% who were frustrated, pessimistic (11.36%), optimistic (8.84%), indifferent (4.3%), and content (3.4%)

Based on the data, 30.41% of respondents considered the college management’s response following Sradha’s death, which involved declaring a holiday for the following day but proceeding with conducting scheduled exams, to be somewhat appropriate.

Furthermore, 27.32% considered it was entirely appropriate, compared to 27.18% who considered it somewhat inappropriate and 15.09% entirely inappropriate.

Should the College Face Criminal Investigation for Allegations of Delaying Medical Assistance and Concealing the Nature of Sradha’s Suicide?

After Sradha committed suicide, the college was charged with covering up the occurrence by creating a case of fainting and purposefully delaying medical attention.

We questioned the respondents about whether these charges against the college were the subject of a criminal investigation. 41.56% said possibly, 39.85% said absolutely, 15.18% said possibly not, and 3.41% said absolutely not..

Figure 2: Should the college be investigated for allegations of delaying medical assistance and concealing sradha’s suicide?

Protestors have alleged that Sradha’s suicide has brought attention to a broader issue of mistreatment and the fostering of toxic environments within educational institutions.

They claim that certain institutions use the pretext of discipline to subject students to mistreatment, creating an atmosphere that is detrimental to their well-being. Our next poll highlights respondents’ stance on the need to address and rectify such issues to ensure a safe and supportive environment for all students.

Nearly half (46.05%) stated that discipline in colleges should be enforced without compromising student dignity and well-being. In the meantime, 27.43% said the protestors were blowing things out of proportion for their own interest and 26.52% denied any reforms and stated the students need to follow the college’s discipline at any cost.

Lastly, the survey aksed the respondents whether governments should establish regulations for college authrotiies to maintain discipline, while ensuring students’ well-being.

Figure 3: should governments establish regulations for college authrotiies to maintain discipline, while ensuring students’ well-being?

Most respondents (41.43%) agreed and stated regulations were crucial to prevent the mistreatment of students in the name of discipline. On the other hand, 33.4% noted that it would depend on the specific circumstance and the effectiveness of existing measures and 25.17% denied any regulation reforms and stated that the colleges should have the freedom to establish their own disciplinary policies without government interference.


Survey TitleSurvey on Moral Policing in Academic Institutions in India
DurationJune 16, 2023 – June 23, 2023
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.