Jadavpur University

Jadavpur University Professor Kanak Sarkar Has A History Of Making Sexist Remarks, Say Students


Facebook

Two days after a Jadavpur University professor sparked outrage with a Facebook post comparing a woman’s virginity with a “sealed bottle”, authorities at the university said that they would take “concrete steps” to address the issue. 

Former students also told INB India that Kanak Sarkar, a professor in the university’s International Relations department, was known for making regressive and misogynistic comments even in class. 

Students staged a protest on campus, demanding that he be expelled.

Om Prakash Mishra, who heads the international relations department, said that they were aware of the Facebook post as well as past complaints from students. 

Speaking to INB India over the phone, Mishra said, “We have received a series of representations from students in the past. Now they have filed a formal written representation. The student-teacher body, an insititutionalised body, will meet tomorrow (Wednesday) to deliberate on the matter and take concrete steps to address it.”

Mishra also criticised Sarkar’s remarks on Facebook, saying, “What he has said is regressive and a reflection of a medieval mindset. It is in complete disharmony with scientific basis and rationality.”

The HOD said students had earlier verbally communicated to him that Sarkar would make these remarks even during class.

“He was talking loose, talking in ways that are insulting to girls. Students have pointed out that he represents very regressive views and that they are not interested to continue with his classes. We will take measures keeping that in mind, he said.

The university’s students’ union will also make a formal representation to vice chancellor (VC) Suranjan Das, seeking action against Sarkar. 

Assistant General Secretary of the union, Ushasi Paul, told INB India, “We will approach the VC today to ask him to take steps against the professor. The misogynist comments that Sarkar has been making to students personally and through Facebook are disgusting. We strongly condemn them.”

Sarkar, who now seems to have deleted his Facebook account, had later defended his statement on virginity on the site: by saying, “I have not written anything against any person, individual or anybody without any evidence of proof of any reference. I am doing social research and writing for the good and wellbeing of Society.”

The university’s students’ union will also make a formal representation to vice chancellor (VC) Suranjan Das, seeking action against Sarkar. 

Assistant General Secretary of the union, Ushasi Paul, told INB India, “We will approach the VC today to ask him to take steps against the professor. The misogynist comments that Sarkar has been making to students personally and through Facebook are disgusting. We strongly condemn them.”

Sarkar, who now seems to have deleted his Facebook account, had later defended his statement on virginity on the site: “I have not written anything against any person, individual or anybody without any evidence of proof of any reference. I am doing social research and writing for the good and wellbeing of Society.”

Facebook

Former students from the department have also said that Sarkar would make suggestive remarks to women. 

Adrija Chatterjee, a journalist and an alumni of the department, said, “He never kept his thoughts about women to himself. His comments are not personal because he brought them to class.”

Chatterjee shared with INB India screenshots of students describing incidents with Sarkar. The students wanted to remain anonymous.

One woman student said that Sarkar had asked her to become a model since her “figure” was very “model-like”. He had also allegedly told her that hers was the kind of body that “men would enjoy”.  

In another screenshot from a conversation that Chatterjee shared, a former male student of the department said that he had heard accusations about Sarkar from both seniors and juniors during a student-teacher committee meeting when he was in the first year of college. 

If the accounts are true, the complaints made by students have thus far been ignored by the university administration. 

Meanwhile, as the news went viral on Monday, the VC told IANS, “We will take all steps as per law.”

INB India also reached out to Professor Suparna Kar Chowdhury who heads the university’s internal complaints committee and another associate professor in the International relations department. But both of them refused to speak, saying the matter was under investigation by university authorities. 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top