Published: 19th January 2022
Sensitisation the only way? After molestation on campus, here's what JNU profs think of security lapses
The JNUTA on January 19 said that the environment on campus was deteriorating fast "with respect to security in general and that of women in particular"
A day after students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University protested demanding prompt action from the Delhi Police and the varsity administration after a PhD student was allegedly molested on campus, the JNU faculty too expressed their concerns about the security on campus. They highlighted not one but two incidents that happened on January 17.
The JNUTA on January 19 said that the environment on campus was deteriorating rapidly "with respect to security in general and that of women in particular". "In the second incident, a JNU female student was harassed, abused and beaten by a male student for not accepting his advances of friendship. What is also shocking is that the harassment in this particular case by the male student has been going on for the past two years," said the JNUTA in a statement.
Dr Moushumi Basu, Secretary of the JNUTA, said that the administration's silence on this is disturbing. "The fact that there has been no assurance by the administration that those guilty will be brought to book and that sexual harassment in any form will not be tolerated, is most disturbing," she said.
The teachers said that the security lapses were "a direct result of the administrative incompetence and general misogyny of the JNU administration". The students and teachers have repeatedly claimed that the dismantling of the Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) is the root of the increasing number of crimes against women on campus. The JNUTA also added that women faculty members have continually been sidelined from administrative positions and this, they claimed has created a lack of representation and a skewed sense of male entitlement.
But what is the way out? The professors suggested that just spending a lot of money on CCTVs and security services won't help unless there is proper sensitisation. "For a residential university such as JNU, it is important that these incidents serve as a wake-up call in ending the impunity that has been granted to sexual predators within the campus by the present university administration," said Dr Basu. "Vast amounts of money spent on security cameras and bringing on board a security service with no experience of civilian security matters, will not work to address the issue unless elected representative bodies that can be trusted, take up the work of gender sensitisation and follow through on complaints through due process," she added.