MK Stalin swears action against sexual harassment at Chennai Arts Academy

MK Stalin swears action against sexual harassment at Chennai Arts Academy

Students held up placards and shouted anti-administration and anti-NCW slogans.


Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday promised action against any sexual harassment complaint at the Kalakshetra Foundation, a leading arts and culture academy in Chennai, where a day ago around 200 students protested the issue.

“Legal action will be taken against those found guilty [but] There hasn’t been a written complaint to the police yet,” he said a day after calls for justice for survivors of alleged sexual harassment by four male faculty members.

The students held up placards and shouted slogans against the government and the National Women’s Commission (NCW), which they accused of rejecting their complaints.

The protest came a day after an unscheduled visit to the Kalakshetra campus by NCW chair Rekha Sharma. She met with Director Revathi Ramachandran and some faculty members.

The students said she asked them to publicly report incidents of sexual harassment to her in the presence of students and faculty members.

“She asked one by one, ‘Have you been harassed, have you been harassed?’ Is that the way to make a request? They aim to cover it up,” said one student. A former student at the academy added, “It’s been like this for years.”

Regarding the type of harassment survivors faced, one student said, “It’s sexual messages, abuse if we fight back, bad grades being given and no opportunity to dance no matter how good we are.”

Another said: “Many have been sexually abused over the years… remember we are talking about 18 or 19 year old girls who dare not complain.”

Ms Sharma had also previously asked State Police Chief C. Sylendra Babu not to pursue the matter further, as the lead complainant, when questioned by the institute’s internal Complaints Committee, denied allegations of sexual harassment.

Earlier this week, the panel claimed in a report that allegations of sexual misconduct by faculty members at Kalakshetra were “disinformation”.

Director Ramachandran said those facing the allegations have been questioned and the board will consider taking action under the law. “No one involved in unsavory activities will be spared,” she said.

Established in 1936 by dancer Rukmini Devi Arundale, the Kalakshetra Foundation is an institute of national importance that offers courses in Bharatanatyam dance, Carnatic music and other traditional arts. Known for its high standards of excellence and discipline, it has produced many notable artists over the decades.

The sexual harassment scandal has rocked the institution and its alumni, who have expressed solidarity with the students and their dismay at how the issue is being handled. Some prominent artists, such as singer TM Krishna, have also spoken out against Kalakshetra’s response, calling for a thorough investigation.

“As you know, no investigative process will be effective unless the atmosphere is caring and compassionate towards those who allege sexual abuse, in these cases young students and alumni. When the place is so hierarchical, no one will speak freely and fearlessly,” Mr. Krishna said in a statement.

#Stalin #swears #action #sexual #harassment #Chennai #Arts #Academy
More From Shayari.Page

Leave a Comment