Justice Served?

An IIT B professor has been convicted of sexual harassment charges. Depending on which media source you read the story varies, but the salient features remain the same. A student and lab assistant place a complaint with the student council board against the professor. A fact check inquiry was conducted by the student affairs council and the results were submitted to the panel which conducted the subsequent probe ( with the professor given a copy of the results of the investigation) . The professor was then asked to appear in front of a council where he was given the opportunity to cross-examine his accusers.

Despite the consensus, there seems to be some discrepancies in the story. Firstly, it was said that the girl who originally made the comment did not  appear in front of the panel and designated the women’s cell as her representative. So how then, could the professor have cross-examined his accusers? Second, there is a lot of veiled talk of other accusers but no specifics*. Why the ambiguity? Either there was only one accuser and the rest are uncorroborated “rumours” or there is more than one accuser and for some reason no one wants to mention the others. Shouldnt one try to find out why if the latter? If the former, is rumour valid in a news article? or do the pressmen think there is validity in a report only if the numbers are high?** Finally, why the delay in removing the professor from office? The news was reported in Jan31 (more than a year since the accusation was filed) it is now end of first week of Feb and still no news about the ratification of the decision from Kapil Sibal and Pratibha Patil.

The professor has been suspended and when sacked will still get 1/3rd pension and benefits. I guess we should be happy that the case was taken in at all and that the perpetrator was found guilty. We are well into the 21st century and even the best and brightest and most privileged of us Indian women still settle for half a loaf. Imagine the plight of the not so fortunate amongst us.

* I dont mean names, but some sort of data on them.

** Not to start some half-baked conspiracy theory, but badly researched or sloppy writing pisses me off. This is your work, dont you have ANY sense of pride in it? Even if the current environment is for sensationalization of news, why does that preclude proper research and good writing ? grrrr….


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