This story first came to me via one of you glorious newsy readers (such a smart bunch) and then
it appeared on the BBC!
So go you for breaking this story for me! What happened here, is that an associate professor at a private university in Kolkata said that she lost her job for having photos of herself on Instagram in a bikini. While the university has denied this, she has “accused the university officials of “sexual harassment” and says that she “was bullied, browbeaten, and subjected to moral policing.”
Apparently, the father of one of her male students had laid a complaint after finding his son looking at photos of her on Instagram, and he “requested the university to save his son from such vulgarity.“
After receiving the complaint, the associate professor was ordered into an interrogation room with a committee of people (men and women) where they passed photos of her around from her Instagram and made her confirm that it was her.
The photos (not that it matters) were Instagram stories (which means they disappear after 24 hours) of her in a two-piece swimsuit and they were posted two months before she even joined the university.
"I was asked why did you even do it? As a woman don’t you think it’s objectionable? As a professor, isn’t it your duty to society to conduct yourself appropriately? Don’t you know that women have a dress code?
"They told me that I was bringing disrepute and shame to the university. I was asked if my parents were on Instagram and if they had seen those pictures? I felt nauseous and traumatised.”
The next day she was required to make an apology, but by then she said that the board had recommended she quit:
“But the vice-chancellor told me that the board had unanimously recommended my dismissal. He said your photographs have gone viral, most students have seen them and they will not take you seriously and parents would complain. He said it would be better if I resigned voluntarily.”
Even though the university denies this, she’s now lodged a formal complaint with the police:
“She has lodged a police complaint and sent a legal notice to the university, which has responded by accusing her of defamation and demanded 990m rupees ($12.4m; £10.5) in compensation.”
This story is just so disheartening - every single part about it is unjust, and I’ll be keeping you in the loop about how it unfolds!