Kolkata’s St Xavier’s University is facing social onslaughts after the news became viral recently that an assistant professor of the university was forced to resign for posting pictures in swimsuit on Instagram, and that too before she joined the university.
After the news became viral, she was even slapped with a defamation notice by the university authorities, demanding damage compensation to the tune of Rs 99 crore on the ground that her action was an ‘ill-motivated’, ‘desperate’ and ‘dishonest’ attempt to open a closed chapter, thus causing immense and irreparable damage to the image of the institute.
St Xavier’s University, a Jesuit university established in February 2017, is the post-graduation extension of Kolkata’s iconic St Xavier’s College, which was founded in 1860.
While the college is located at Park Street in Kolkata, the campus for the university is located in New Town on the northern outskirts of Kolkata.
Recently, the students of the university put up posters within the campus describing the decision to force the resignation of the assistant professor as a reflection of the patriarchal mentality of the university authorities.
“I have been associated with the college for around two decades. The students’ union of the college or the university had been traditionally apolitical and students displaying posters within the campus against the authorities was unheard of in the past,” said a teacher of the college on condition of anonymity.
A petition has already been filed on this count, which has been signed by 20,000 individual, including educationists, psychologists, film and television artistes and members of the civil society. It has been forwarded to state Education Minister Bratya Basu seeking his intervention in the matter.
A social media campaign has also started against the university’s chancellor, FR Felix Raj, on this count, which has been signed and commented on by thousands of people, including several former and present students of both the college and the university.
However, despite the public uproar, the members of the university’s governing body have refrained from reaching out to the media to present their side of the argument.