After the ‘Bois Locker Room’ and ‘Girls Locker Room’ controversy followed by the ‘Google Drive’ incident where Jadavpur University alumni shared nude pictures of women attracted a pan-India outcry, a former member of a Kolkata-based theatre group, the ‘Youth Theatre circuit of Kolkata’, Pooja (name changed) took to Facebook to reveal that these incidents are not isolated. She narrates how she and many others have been victims to the physical and sexual harassment by members of the Youth Theatre circuit of Kolkata for years, also alleging that these serial abuser and harasser have been shielded by the circuit for years.
Pooja (name changed), a former member of the group wrote a blog post on 6 May, alleging that she was subjected to emotional, psychological and physical abuse by one Tejodipto Panda. “HE F*CKING MOLESTED ME BECAUSE I’M QUEER”, she in her post.
She claims that she could not speak up for herself for all these years because she was in a “classroom full of spineless people who never stood up” for her. Alleging that the department shielded her abuser and harasser, Pooja (name changed) wrote:
“The whole department (Department of Mass Communication and Videography) knew that he molested me. Everyone knew he is problematic. Everyone called him problematic from our first day of college. However, during Cinematheque 2016 (if I’m not wrong. The one during my second year) there was an ad film competition. Tejodipto submitted a film made with along with “friends” from college. He was awarded a hefty cash prize. The ad film had a trans theme. It was in partnership with a government wing dedicated to trans upliftment. They didn’t know – yes. But the college administration did. My department administration did.
Pooja shared the story of another victim, Anamika (name changed), subjected to a similar misdemeanour. She wrote that her abuser, one Rajdeep Saha was in 3rd-year Statistics honours department in St. Xaviers College, Kolkata and was with her when the practices for the cultural programme for their departmental event, Epsilon Delta, was on.
“He stirred up a conversation which lead to the statement “your belly has grown a bit, let me check”, then without any consent he slipped his hand under my top and started touching my torso. I was in a state of shock I told him what are you doing ” Haat shora” (remove your hand)was my statement, but I was afraid what else he will do to me, so as soon as I could I ran away from that entire scenario”, wrote Anamika.
Another woman named Rita (name changed), in a post she shared writes how she was subjected to similar harassment early this year. She names one Ric Chakraborty, who has been related with many renowned Bangla rock bands, whom she claims misbehaved with her during a show called “chhader gan”, hosted by Ric Chakraborty.
She claims that Ric kept delaying the slot alloted to them for the performance. She claims he was extremely drunk and held her hand tight refusing to let go of her. “He was shouting and singing and all the while he was holding my hand tightly. He was not letting me go. Then he looked at me and said – you won’t go home today. I won’t let you. You’ll stay with me today and kept pulling my hand. Trying to pull me closer. Now I understood why he kept delaying our performance slot timing,” she said.
JU students accused of sharing nudes of women through Google Drive
Twitter user ‘Aiyoobrows’ in a series of tweets on Monday alleged that a group of men, former students of Jadavpur University, have been using nude and semi-nude pictures of women in a Google Drive and circulating them amongst their friends. She alleged that the drive has been in existence since 2016. Two men, Souryadeep Basak, who allegedly owns the drive, and Imankalyan Ghosh, who had access to the same were named by the Twitter user. Since then, multiple images of screenshots of women have been in circulation in social media where victims are calling out the behaviour.
Bois Locker Room
Recently, social media was awash with repugnant details of an Instagram chat group comprising of boys that discussed ‘gang-raping’ girls in a group called ‘Bois Locker Room’ (Bois, being a spin on the word ‘boys’). The leaked photos of the “Bois Locker Room” (Boys Locker Room) Instagram group had kicked up a storm over the normalisation of rape culture in the country. The group allegedly ran by teenage boys, involved graphic sexualisation and sharing of private photos of underage girls, objectifying them and planning gang-rapes with minor girls.
Girls Locker Room
Soon after the chats of the ‘Bois Locker Room’ went viral, screenshots of ‘Girls Locker Room’ were allegedly leaked which showed voyeuristic chats between teenaged and presumably underaged girls. Besides sexualising and objectifying men, several screenshots of the girls’ version of Locker Room leaked on Twitter reveal that not just boys but girls are also active partakers in perpetuating body-shaming and making sexually explicit remarks.