“Signature campaigns and meetings with the university administration have not resulted in any action”
An overwhelming 89.97 per cent of students at Jawaharlal Nehru University voted against the idea of a professor with a pending sexual harassment case being appointed to the position of dean. This was revealed in a secret ballot election, which was conducted by the election committee responsible for conducting the students’ union election every year.
“Around 1,735 students voted of which 1,561 voted against this situation and 103 voted for it. There were 55 invalid votes and 16 blanks,” said Lenin Kumar of the Democratic Students’ Federation whose organisation helped in mobilising people to come and vote.
Recently, a very senior professor, against whom allegations of sexual harassment were being investigated by the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment, was appointed to the post of dean.
“This referendum is important since signature campaigns and meetings with the university administration have not resulted in any action. The thing that concerned us the most was that in any teacher versus student case, the verdict of the GSCASH must be acted upon at an Executive Council meeting. This dean is now entitled to be part of this Executive Council so he will be in a position to influence decisions,” said JNUSU president Akbar Chowdhary,
However, a group of students are opposing these actions. “Sometimes the GSCASH is being misused and politicised. We do not want girls and boys to be apprehensive of freely interacting with each other because they might think that the GSCASH will be used against them,” said a student, who belongs to the group who call themselves the “Students against Politicisation of GSCASH”.