On August 16th,Jadavpur University witnessed another students’ march in the demand of an autonomous CGSAASH or Cell for Gender Sensitization and Action Against Sexual Harassment. After a number of molestation cases that took place in the campus had been brought to the notice of the University’s Authority, the authority decided of forming a body called Cell for Gender Sensitization and Action Against Sexual Harassment that followed some of the Saksham guidelines if not entirely.
This students’ movement could be referred to as an articulation of Kavita Krishnan’s (secretary, All India Progressive Women’s Association) demand for “Freedom Without Fear” after the Nirbhaya Rape Case; december 16,2012; the incident after which the Saksham reports came up ensuring safety of women and gender sensitization. Since all the points mentioned in the CGSAASH document for providing security, protection and justice to the victims could not satisfy all the demands of the Jadavpurians, a call for students’ march from World View to Aurobindo Bhavan (Adminstrative building of JU) was given by All India Students’ Association (AISA).
The march started from World View at 1.40 p.m. with the sloganeering of students, demanding for an autonomous CGSAASH, freedom from patriarchy and Bekhauf Azadi. The students on behalf of AISA submitted a deputation to the Registrar of JU due the VC’s absence. The deputation had demands that followed the Saksham guidelines, like- the tenure of CGSASSH members should be one year, the cell must organise atleast two public meetings , the cell should meet once a month. Apart from these other demands were eradication of homophobia, the CGSAASH committee must have a female counsellor, a female ‘non JU’ academician and a female represntative from NGO. Above all the deputation highlighted on the fact that the cell should be free from all kinds of prejudice and influence of the University’s Authority in its unbiased proceedings of investigations and in taking impartial action.
Hence the students demanded the CGSAASH to be an autonomous and functional body in order to make the campus safe and to provide equal space for all students. This could be referred to as a huge articulation of the Jadavpurians towards creating mass awareness against sexual violence in this demeaning society