Prof refers to female students as 'item', 'heroine', plays matchmaker

Maths classes have been going too far beyond the syllabus for the comfort of female students in this college. A First Year BCom student of Mittal College in Malad (West) has filed a complaint with the Malad police and college authorities against her professor Kashinath Joshi for allegedly using words like ‘item’, ‘heroine’ and ‘foreigner’ to refer to his students. She has also alleged that he forced her to sit and wait for a boy in her class, claiming that ‘they look good together’.

Prof Kashinath Joshi
Accused: Prof Kashinath Joshi

Leena D’Souza (name changed) filed a written complaint at Malad police station on October 8 against Joshi, accusing him of verbal harassment. The complaint was initially lodged with the college principal J D’Mello who later forwarded it to the dedicated College Woman Development Cell (CWDC).

D’Souza, said, “Joshi is our Mathematics professor. Earlier too, he used to tease girls, addressing them with names like ‘item’, ‘heroine’ ‘beautiful’ or ‘besharam’. But it was the last straw when he started openly teasing me about boys, saying I would look good with this or that boy. During an exam last week, he made me wait in my seat till a boy sitting in the bench ahead of me finished his exam, saying that we would have to leave the classroom together. He used the words like ‘item’ and ‘heroine’ to refer to me and some of the other female students. They were scared to complain, but not me. I have suffered embarrassment because of this professor;

sometimes he also stares continuously. My parents met the principal and complained about the professor’s behaviour, and they are conducting an enquiry.”

Dr D’Mello, principal of the college, said, “The girl came to us with a complaint and we have conducted an enquiry with the help of the CWDC. The girl was called for a hearing on October 15, but she said she was not confident about the neutrality of the CWDC, which comprised mostly teachers of the college. So she submitted a letter requesting that she elect a representative to appear for the hearing instead of her, as is permissible by the University. Hence we had to defer the hearing, and we will inform her when a fresh date is chosen. We will speak to both the parties and than prepare a report to take further action. We will also ask other girls.”

A complaint has also been registered with the Woman Development Cell of Mumbai University and the V-C’s office.

Shoaib Nevrekar, from Iconern NGO, said, “The girl is being harassed by this professor. We will keep tabs on the college enquiry on this matter. The girl has only filed a complaint with the police station so that she is not harmed by him.”

Avinash Jadhav, senior police inspector of Malad police station, said, “We will soon be conducting an enquiry on the complaint filed by the student of Mittal College. The college can conduct its own enquiry, but since a complaint has been lodged with us, we will do things in our own way.”

The other side
Kashinath Joshi said, “I don’t know the girl and don’t even know if she is from our college. I haven’t received any complaint letter from my college, nor any notice from the Malad police. Since I don’t know what allegations she has raised against me, I cannot comment on anything.” 

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