Direct your rage at abusers, not survivors

Nov 01, 2018, 05:51 IST | mid-day correspondent

They may be master manipulators, and their supporters are fortunate enough to never have witnessed their worst side, but they cannot dismiss the ordeal that the survivors have gone through

Direct your rage at abusers, not survivors

A senior professor at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), who was accused of sexual harassment by a doctoral student, has been asked to take compulsory retirement.

The professor, Giridhar Madras, was with the chemical engineering department. The institute's internal complaints committee looked into the harassment complaint filed by the doctoral student who was being guided by him. The professor received numerous awards, he was highly decorated and did his doctorate from the US, and has been highly cited for his research work.

The comments section alongside the report about him being sacked, is bristling with comments such as 'such an achiever and highly respected individual, respected guide cannot be guilty'. These comments add that women have gone crazy and this is an attempt to frame and defame him.

This edit is not about the professor but the overall outrage when certain individuals are called out. A sexual molester, predator, harasser does not come in any stereotypical box. Molesters can be high-achieving individuals.

They may be perfectly respectful with some women, not so with others. Your experience with him may not be the same as somebody else's. Just because he is a genius at work, at the top of his game, that does not automatically mean that he could not have sexually harassed somebody. Those who believe that persons on the top of the corporate ladder or bleeding-heart philanthropists cannot be molesters, are wrong.

Respect the investigation and give the survivors a fair chance. These 'gods' in your pantheon may have weaknesses and failings. They may be master manipulators, and their supporters are fortunate enough to never have witnessed their worst side, but they cannot dismiss the ordeal that the survivors have gone through.

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