(St. Stephen College, Delhi)
The same college that's been associated for years with the snobbery and snootiness of being the elite hub of the over-achieving has officially been brought down to mud-wrestling with the same issues of sexism and coercion as the 'common' folk.
St Stephens is currently battling a case of sexual harassment posed by one of its female PhD. students against Satish Kumar, an assistant professor of Chemistry at the college.
The girl launched an FIR against the man on the 19th of June, telling the police that he had molested her in October 2013 and had continued to harass her for several months post that incident. When she went forward, she found herself stone-walled by none other than the principal of the college, Valson Thampu.
Deciding to go undercover, sting operation style, the girl managed to get the princpal on tape saying, "Trust in God. You have to take that complaint back. If you don't do it today itself, there will be complication."
What is intensely frightening about this incident is not the sexual harassment factor; encountering that is ill-fated in itself, but is deeply worsened by the reaction of the principal.
An attempt to hush up the matter, and subsequently to protect the harassing party and the 'pristine' reputation of the institution over crusading for justice is a move so dire and disconcerting (coming in particular from a college known for it's progressive school of thought) is enough to shake our faith.
"He [Kumar] sexually assaulted the girl and the principal was continuously protecting the culprit. Satish Kumar should be immediately arrested and strict action should be taken against the principal. We have organised a protest against the same as we feel strict action should be taken in this case," said Jagmati Sangwan, leader of the AIDWA (All India Democratic Women's Association) said, and judging by the dubiousness of the two mens follow-up actions (i.e. avoiding the media), we can't help but agree.