Thursday, 23 March 2017

Nefarious Women of SRFTI

23rd March 2017

Maitree (a network of women's rights activists and individuals) had written to Debamitra Mitra, Director, SRFTI protesting the dissolution of SRFTI Committee for Sexual Harassment. Debamitra Mitra responded in the most preposterous way possible. Below is the complete letter. The highlight is mine.

Dear Ms. Kapur,
This is to acknowledge receipt of your mail dated March 20, 2017. To be honest, I have been inexplicably shocked and surprised to receive it as it has been difficult to accept that such a mail could come from someone of your stature, vision, mission and wisdom. The most unfortunate aspect of your initiative to get into an important administrative decision which was endorsed by the eminent members of the Governing Council is the implied suggestion that rules and law of the land have been mercilessly trampled by an insensitive administration of the Institute. The mail obviously raised a serious question on my administrative honesty, integrity and competence. It also projects me as a person who is completely bereft of any sympathy or compassion for the victims of sexual harassment.
Everybody needs to appreciate and acknowledge that I am a woman too, and being so, I am equally concerned about the dignity, security and safety of my girl students. However, as their guardian in the institute, I cannot discriminate my students on grounds of genders or on any other narrow considerations. I have always felt that while a girl student must be made to feel assured of full protection against any kind of harassment, she should also understand that misuse or abuse of law with ulterior motive cannot be allowed or tolerated. We cannot afford to maintain philosophical indifference in the face of any nefarious attempt by some misguided wayward women to bring disrepute to the entire women community. There are several instances where law made to protect the interest of citizens have been abused. Section 498A of the IPC and the RTI Act are a few examples.
Please be assured that there are strong reasons for formation of a new ICC. I would request you to believe that the Institute administration headed by me cannot and will not do anything that can be translated as against law or as deliberate denial of justice to my own dear female students who become genuine victims of sexual harassment. However, I shall also continue to be tough wherever there is an attempt by any woman to misuse the provisions of the Act to settle other scores.
Dr. Debamitra Mitra
Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute
E.M. ByPass Rd, Panchasayar
Phone: 913324328355, 24328356, 24329300
Fax: 91332432-0723
There is only one more thing I'd like to add here and that is #Debamitramitraresign

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