Published: 17th January 2019
'Sexist' Jadavpur University prof Kanak Sarkar barred from taking classes; students push for dismissal
Kanak Sarkar, professor of International Relations at JU recently got into trouble for posting a Facebook status where he stooped down to likening a virgin woman to a 'sealed bottle'
Jadavpur University professor Kanak Sarkar, who triggered protests after he compared women's virginity to a "sealed bottle" in a Facebook post that was later deleted, has now been barred from taking classes or even entering the campus. He works at the University's International Relations Department. The decision to relieve him temporarily from his duties was collectively taken by teachers and students from the department.
"In view of the recommendation of the Student-Teacher Committee of the Department, Prof. Kanak Sarkar is divested of his teaching duties with immediate effect. Substitute arrangements would be decided in the meeting of the Board of Studies scheduled on Jan 18, 2019," a notice from Professor Omprakash Mishra, Head, Department of International Relations said. He has also said that the Vice-Chancellor has been informed that the students want Kanak to be expelled. On January 14, the National Commission for Women (NCW) had asked the West Bengal DGP to investigate the issue and take appropriate action against the JU professor.
Students have demanded his expulsion and are not just satisfied with his temporary suspension."Kanak Sarkar has not yet been suspended or expelled from the university. Please stop hullabalooing around saying he has been thrown out. What we have achieved today is only a part of the victory but not the ultimate one. Sarkar has been relieved of his duties temporarily until the investigation continues and in the meantime, he will continue receiving his salary. I understand you are excited about this turn of events, even we are with our sore throats and aching legs, but please hold your horses for the actual victory, when Sarkar is permanently suspended from his office," a student from the University wrote in her Facebook post.
Another former student who studied International Relations at JU and knew the professor said that he had made such misogynistic remarks at several instances earlier and the students failed to stand up to him. "My 18-year-old self hangs his head in shame every time I think about the time Kanak Sarkar, my professor from Jadavpur University, shamed a girl for wearing a salwar kameez in class and even suggested she wear a skirt like a fellow classmate if she wanted better marks. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We all knew about him. We all joked about him. Yet we never really stood up to him. I'm sorry," he said.