Sunday, 19 June 2016


18th June 2016, Saturday

Last year, this time i was at home; Kozhikode, Kerala. I was alone in a house which i like very much. I usually visit home during monsoons because my mallu nostalgia begins and ends in its rains. A lot has changed in the year which passed by. I am not home this monsoon because i couldn't finish my shoot according to schedule because i had to fight a battle and work at the same time and it was difficult to do. From the time we filed the complaints in December 2015 till today it has been a horrific journey. But today, i must say that all of it has paid off.
SRFTI has sent the notice to two of the three professors who were found guilty of sexual harassment asking them to retire. They are gone, like how they should be.
I transcribe the order here:

Ref: Minutes of the 56th meeting of Governing Council of SRFTI

Sub: Action taken report on the recommendations of the ICC SH for faculties

An emergency meeting of the Governing Council was held on June 10, 2016 with single agenda point on ICC SH reports for faculties and students

As per the resolution passed by the Governing Council, the Director, being the Member Secretary of the GC, has issued the orders of 'Compulsary Retirement' to the two faculty members w.ef June 16th & 17, 2016 respectively.

The Accused and Complainants to be informed accordingly.

(Amaresh Chakraburtty)
Director (I/C)

I am attaching the joint statement from two of us complainants here.


We are two sexual harassment complainants from SRFTI. The battle has been long. It was in December 2015 that we made our complaints. For seven months we have been witch hunted, slut shamed, ostracized, cornered and accused of provoking students. Ever since we spoke up against sexual harassment that we faced from professors and students we have been hounded by the SRFTI administration, faculty and student supporters of professors and students. The intimidation and violence unleashed on us was inhuman to say the least. Today, we are speaking from SRFTI which have ordered ‘compulsory retirement’ of two professors on sexual harassment charges made by us. We are extremely happy, relieved and feel as if SRFTI is our space too, after a very long time. Even though SRFTI took a long time to act on the ICC report and that cost us complainants dearly, we would like to point out that by implementing the recommendation by ICC SRFTI has, today, set an example to other places of learning. Sexual harassment charges have been dealt with with the seriousness it deserves and appropriate action has been taken.

This does not mean that the fight is over. We have the following problems up in our agenda now.

  • We have been told that the professors have approached court of law. We need support to fight the case in court if that is what ensues. We are students and these seven months have been detrimental to our work as well. To function in such an environment has been extremely stressful. 
  • The report of the ICC-SH handling student cases is out and we are contesting the case which was dismissed on the ground that it lacked ‘proof’. We ask SRFTI, when most sexual harassment happens behind closed doors and with just the victim and the perpetrator present is absence of eye-witnesses lack of proof? We will have to challenge the verdict in court and that too requires time and energy among other things.
  • We wish to spread the message to all campuses across the country by emphasising the truth that the more sexual harassment is reported, the more healthier campuses are for women. This is not an indication that the campuses are affected with an epidemic or that the reputation of the institutes are at stake but on the contrary it means that these are spaces where women can speak up against violence and abuse and therefore it is an indication of how progressive the spaces are.
  • As for SRFTI, at a stage when the majority is still opposed to our protest against sexual harassment and when we know that all attempts for sensitization have failed, we hope that the country will be able to spread the message better. We hope that SRFTI realizes its own ‘khap’ mentality, rape culture, misogyny and one day apologize unconditionally to all complainants who were called names, slut shamed, ostracized and violated just because they spoke up. We know that if it doesn’t happen tomorrow it will when it will. We hope it happens and send the warmth of our battle to them. 

We thank every single person who stood with us during this period. When SRFTI disowned us it was people from across the country and globe who supported our cause. This included filmmakers, activists, feminists mediapersons and others. It is not easy to stand with a long drawn battle. We hope you continue with us in this journey and we hope we win this.

To stop sexual harassment,

On the same day, however i was handed over the report from the ICC which handled student cases. 
My complaint against one man is the only which has not been 'proven'. I had a complaint against another man too but then two other girls had complained against the same man.

Please look at the charges:
a) Sexual harassment of the nature of trying to have sex with a girl-student (me) on three different occasions. The complainant (me) refused.
b) Sexual harassment of the nature of unwanted physical touching of a girl-student (me), The Accused kissed the complainant on her lips without her consent.
c) Sexual harassment of the nature of sexually coloured comments to a girl-student (me). The accused asked the complainant what her bra and panties size were.

The accused student has denied all the charges (seriously, what were they expecting, 'haan haan, i forced myself on a girl but don't punish me?) saying that i complained against him because he 'refused' to work with me.

ICC for student complaints says this,
The allegations have not been established due to lack of proper evidence or witness. The witness who had presented their depositions clearly mentioned that they have not been eye witness to any of the incidents but have heard it only from the complainant, Ms Kunjila Mascillamani herself.

So when a boy forcibly kisses me, forces me to have sex when i say repeatedly that i don't want to, when i feel pukish after a point and even run out of the room, ICC-SH for students headed by Ms Dr. Sanjukta Ray Pahari thinks that 50 people should be around to give testimony. See you in court, student ICC. Ta ta.

I don't know if there is something called victory. It is a fight which just goes on and on till you die. But within it you can have moments of sweetness and sadness. From tomorrow (20th June 2016) we have to take on another battle called the court. 
Let's see where that goes.

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