Skip to main content

Mallika Sarabhai, others protest 'sexual harassment' in Bhuj Swaminarayan institute

By Our Representative
Strongly protecting against the Shri Sahajanand Girls Institute, Bhuj, for its allegedly outrageous act of forcing young women hostelers to undress to check if they were menstruating, thereby violating the “religious norms” of the institute, the Gujarat Mahila Manch (GMM) has claimed, the incident "violates the basic rights of young women".
Insisting that the incident amounts to outraging "the modesty of young women, causing them mental trauma and amounts to sexual harassment", the GMM statement, signed by about 1,300 concerned citizens, mainly women activists, says, "Such incidents reinforce the redundant and unscientific idea of women being dirty while they menstruate."
Signed, among others, by prominent danseuse Mallika Sarabhai, academics Jharna Pathak, Meera Velayudhan and Neha Shah, and social activists Manjula Pradeep, Nirjhari Sinha, Nafisa Barot, Pankti Jog, Sejal Dand, Shabnam Hashmi and Nita Mahadev, the statement regrets, despite widescale outrage, the institute's trustee Pravin Pindoria has warned the students, “Take whatever legal action you wish to take, this will continue, and if you have any objection, you can leave the hostel”.
Pointing out that this suggests the trustees are supporting the act and are more concerned about upholding the outdated norms of the Swaminarayan sect, to which the institute belongs, the incident says, "Ironically, the institute proclaims its mission to be 'self-development and empowerment of girls through scientific and value-based education'."
According to the statement, at an educational institute where young women are under the custody of such a warden and principal who acted the way they did suggests the girls' safety is compromised.
Mallika Sarabhai
"The act violates the fundamental duties under article 51A of the Indian Constitution which want every citizen “to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities", even as renouncig practices "derogatory to the dignity of women”, GMM insists.
Wanting the incident to be nipped in the bud, the statement demands that, while FIR has been registered in the incident, and vice-chancellor Darshana Dholakia of the Krantiguru Shyamji Krishna Verma Kutch University has set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the matter, action should be taken against all those involved in the incident under Sections 354, 509 and 355 of the Indian Penal Code.
Seeking removal of the warden with immediate effect and action on all those who made statements justifying the act, the statement demands counseling sessions for the young women who have been "traumatized by the incident", adding, parents and young women should be given "an open environment to speak about the incident without any intimidation and the young women's demands be heard as part of the process."
---
Click here for the names of 1,291 persons who endorsed the statement

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.