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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sexual Harassment case in IIT Bombay

It was shocking to see a report in the media regarding sacking of a senior professor of IIT Bombay on charges of sexual harassment. But after the initial shock was over and I had time to think about it, I came to the conclusion that I was shocked not because such an incident could take place in an IIT, but that such an incident was not swept under the rug and someone was actually being punished.

I know of another incident in another Institute of National repute, where a faculty member even admitted that he had "touched" the female PhD student against her wishes. That he had sent emails with inappropriate contents, and many more things. And what does the Institute do. Make him the Head of the department.

I hope the IIT Bombay action will not be just an exception, but a beginning of an era where there is zero tolerance for sexual harrassment.


Samit said...

it is surprising that such issues are rampant in a country that has had a tradition of woman worship, equating them with mothers.

Jaya said...

@Samit - If instead of considering women an exotic worship-worthy species, we considered them humans, just like men, this would be less rampant.:)

That said, discussing about sexual harassment is not just about men bashing. There are complex social and legal issues which play a role in encouraging or discouraging such things. The first thing has to be that we have to stop looking the other way and actually think of it as any other social problem we have.

Ravi said...

Here is a counterview on sexual harassment.

Though I don't entirely agree with the article above, I do believe that at least in some cases, sexual harassment charges are frivolous, and are filed as a means of revenge.

I don't know the details of this case enough to comment on it's relevance here, though.