• Jadavpur University Students take on serial-harasser Ekalavya Chaudhuri

    He thought he had gotten away with it. But the girls who were subjected to lewd comments and messages by Ekalavya Chaudhuri, a student of Jadavpur University in Kolkata, have filed a change.org petition, asking the institution to take strict action against his behaviour.

    There are 13 girls at present who have confirmed sexual harassment by this undergraduate student, and they have also accused his acquaintance Janhabi Mukherjee of Presidency University of aiding his  behaviour. It all started with one girl coming forward and posting on Facebook about the harassment she faced. And soon there were many more. The ladies stood in union and released a joint statement, as per feminisminindia.com:

    We are a group of (up till now,13)  women and girls who have been harassed, both online and in person, by Ekalavya Chaudhuri, who is a student of Jadavpur University, Department of English.

    We have been touched without our consent.
    We have been objectified filthily.
    We have been made to feel like pieces of meat by a man who is utterly despicable.
    He believes that his actions will not yield any consequences. In many cases, he has been aided and abetted by his acquaintance, Janhabi Mukherjee of Presidency University, Department of English. She has harassed and intimidated us both in virtual spaces and in person.”

    They go on to call Chaudhuri a sex offender and a sexual predator, and encourage other women who also have been violated to come forward to nail him for the crime.

    It got me thinking, Just last week I was scrolling down my Facebook feed and saw this:

    “Manik Katyal Sued of Sexual Harassment”

    That name struck a cord and I suddenly realised why! I had in fact interacted with this guy, and having understood his lecherous ways, I quickly refrained from having any further conversations with him. Manik Katyal is the Founder of Emaho Magazine and he has been charged with sexual harassment suits by 36 women.  Made me wonder just how many such cases happen,  maybe even everyday?

    Let’s take a moment here first to applaud these young girls’ courage and perseverance. To come out on social media and accuse a classmate of a behaviour that could land him up in jail, is simply brave. Knowing the internet trends, anyone is open to an opinion and women especially fall victim to this form of open speech. We have seen that with actresses, politicians, journalists, you name it.

    Also read: How to handle cyber sexism? Stand up to it!

    Imagine the audacity of this lad who thought he could get away with something like this. Is this the world we are living in where growing some balls is equivalent to growing up in this illusion of being superior and obnoxious? I like to believe we aren’t and these girls have proved just that! A callous comment, lewd remark, inappropriate touching cannot and will not go unnoticed! Many of us don’t even realise when some of it happens because we live in this state of subconscious approval of these things. It happens every time, it happens every where. Your office, your college, your board meeting even. If education alone could change such behaviour, then we would have won this battle a long time back probably, but these are mindsets that need nurturing from when you take your first step as a baby. The change is not easy or quick, but definitely not something we can’t achieve. Keep fighting, keep getting back up!

    Feature Image Credit: theconversation.com