A student of Satyajit Ray Films and Television institute of India, Kolkata has accused one of her Professors of coercive sex and rape. An FIR has been lodged against the Professor.
This is what the complainant writes on her Facebook page –
7th January, 2016
So i almost underwent a medical examination. This whole state of affairs is bizarre. Suppose it is a case like mine where the woman has complained about non consensual sex after more than a year of it taking place. What evidence is the test going to give? Just that the woman has had sex. What kind of an evidence is that! What about cases like mine in which the non consensual sex achieved through coercion which would give no visible wounds in my pubic.
7th January, 2016
Now imagine a situation where the woman has been raped the previous day and she is reporting it the very next day and to get proof has consented for medical examination. Let me take you through what happens in there. When i went in the doctor and the female staff who looks at ‘it’ were talking about the woman whom they had examined only a while ago. The woman was saying ‘two hands can easily go in there’. She was raped twice in a period of one week and the doctor and nurse has this to say about her body.
It was my turn then. The doctor asked me to strip. I did. Then he started asking me what i was doing, where i was from, what the professor was doing, what he taught, if i had made films, short or long…till the point i shouted that i was standing with my pants down and it will be great if they could do the test and ask only relevant questions.
I was made to sit on a bed and asked to spread my legs. The old woman approached my pubic with a dirty red rag. I still haven’t understood what it was for. Then she started pulling my vagina and looking into it. It hurt. I shrieked. She asked me to shut up. She was trying to stretch my vagina and it hurt like hell. I shrieked in pain again. She said ‘why are you doing aargh. aargh.’ I said it was hurting. ‘Tat. What hurt’, she said. One more time she pulled it wide i got up and wore my pants and said that that was all i was going to stand. I left.
Now please imagine a woman who chooses to undergo the test after a day of being raped. It is strong evidence, after all. Why should she undergo this torture of her already violated vagina being pulled open by strangers. This is the rape after rape. Why should she strip in front of assholes? And yet when she goes back home after this torture, like in SRFTI, there will be people who tell her that she is lying, she is an attention seeker, a problem maker. Why is our police, our courts, our people and the whole system all so against women that we are really at a loss where to begin to clean up the mess.
6th of January 2016
Don’t know where to begin. Ever since i complained against a professor who forced me to have sex with him and it went to the police and from then on to the media a lot of students and ex-students from SRFTI have been busy updating statuses saying they were and are always safe here. Some students even went door to door asking girls ‘have you ever felt unsafe here, have you had any bad experience here? if not, update your status saying you are safe’. I have not seen a weaker political stance than this. If there are fifty female students in a place and even one student says that she has faced harassment, that she has felt unsafe to sleep at night, it means that she did. It means that you need to support her for having spoken up than being worried about the reputation of the institute. No, i do not want your support. All i want is to make sure that no other girl is subjected to the kind of harassment i was subjected to just because she chose to speak out. I hear the chorus ‘we love our institute’ everywhere. I love it too and that is precisely why i want to make it a healthy environment for women who make half the population of the world and hence should make half the population of filmmakers too. Ever wondered why it is not the case? The answer is in the very attitude you threw at me calling me names and putting my ‘character’ under a magnifying lens. The answer is in the very fact that when i am going to undergo a medical examination after more than a year of having been violated because it is ‘procedure’, people are busy making plans to bring the suspended professors back. When will we ever start questioning the law, the system, the male dominance and its various nuances ever. If we don’t question that how can we ever claim to be artists!