In October last year, Raya Sarkar, a law student with Indian roots based in the US put out a list of Indian academics who have been accused of sexual harassment. Featuring on number 66 on that list was Sadanand Menon, adjunct faculty at Chennai’s Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), one of the premier institutions of journalism in India. Following the list, many women came out to talk about the sexual harassment faced by them by hands of the academics.
In January this year, The News Minute published an article by one Neerja Dasani, where she described her ordeal of sexual harassment, without taking names. Following the article, several people who were subjected to harassment by the same perpetrator got in touch with Dasani and they discovered other he has also allegedly sexually harassed others at another educational institution he taught. Following this, Dasani lodged a formal complaint with the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at the institute where she was a former student. However, after 3 months of correspondence, the institution said that the matter is time-barred since the said incident happened when she was no longer a student and at a location away from the college. Despite her pointing out that such instances should be given the seriousness it deserves, the ICC did not relent.
Meanwhile, current students of same educational institution got in touch with Dasani and raised a separate formal complaint with the ICC, demanding an investigation be carried out against him since his name appeared in the list mentioned above. However, even their complaint was dismissed.
We had earlier written how the patron saints of feminism had insisted on the victims following ‘due procedure’ while passive-aggressively implying the victim may be lying. Here, while the victims are insisting on following due process, the institution seems to be shying off. Students and activists are now demanding that ACJ takes the allegations against Sadanand Menon seriously and not cite procedural reasons for not wanting to do so. That ACJ assures the students that it takes sexual harassment seriously and will do all it could to make the premises safe space for students.
Menon is associated with a lot of educational and cultural institutions where he could use his position of power to treat the young as a sexual prey.
Menon also writes columns for leftist propaganda website, The Wire, which also employs a journalist accused of cheating and abusing in a failed love affair, leading the girl to attempt suicide.