Kolkata: After a professor of West Bengal’s Jadavpur University sparked massive outrage with a Facebook post in which he compared a woman’s virginity to a “sealed bottle”, the university Vice Chancellor has intervened and assured that action against Kanak Chandra Sarkar will be taken.
Speaking to News18, VC Suranjan Das said, “I condemn the misogynistic and sexist comments made by Sarkar. I would like to assure that whatever departmental action we will take, it will be as per law.”
The students of the university had submitted a written complaint to the authorities, demanding the immediate removal of Sarkar, who specialises in political sociology, political thought, the Constitution and government, human rights and law, development administration, and ethnicity and terrorism.
“It is to bring to your notice that we, as a class of IR, request a change in faculty member of western political thought Professor Kanak Sarkar. The thoughts that he endorses in the class makes students highly uncomfortable,” excerpts of the letter written by the students read.
It further read, “We as students always wish to be a part of an environment where our thoughts can be nurtured without any subjugation or bias. We implore you to take necessary action keeping in mind the significance and applicability of the course, given the short time period allotted to the same.”
Sarkar, a professor at the university’s Department of International Relations, had written in the Facebook post: “Are you willing to buy a broken seal while purchasing a bottle of cold drink or a packet of biscuits? A girl is born sealed from birth until it is opened. A virgin girl means many things accompanied with values, culture, and sexual hygiene. To most boys virgin wife is like angel.”
His comments sparked off a massive outcry on social media in the face of which Sarkar deleted his post from Facebook.
He later told News18: “I have not said anything wrong. As per the Constitution, it’s my right to present my expression. There is freedom of expression and speech. There may be minor mistakes from my side but the bottom line is I have not done anything wrong as per law.”
In another Facebook post on Sunday, Sarkar sought to clarify his views and said the Supreme Court had given freedom of expression on social media by repealing Section 66A of the Information Technology Act.
“I have not written anything against any person, individual or anybody without any evidence or proof or any reference,” he wrote. “I am doing social research and writing for the good and well-being of society. When Taslima Nasreen wrote against a particular religion, we supported her Freedom of Expression. We are supporting Bengali poet Srijato who writes about Hindu Gods.”
Meanwhile, NCW has taken suo motu cognisance of the statements made by Sarkar and is going to meet the Vice Chancellor to discuss the issue further. The commission has also written to WB DGP, directing him to investigate and take appropriate action as per the Indian Penal Code.