By Anukriti Roy
In a shocking incident, the principal of a school in Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh expelled a girl after she complained that she was molested by a student of the same school. The principal first dismissed her complain as according to him the incident occurred “outside the campus”. He later expelled the girl and according to her, announced in front of the whole school in the prayer hall that “such girls” were not needed in the school. He also later told the news agency ANI that “such indisciplined girls need not study here and tarnish the image of the school."
What does the principal mean by “such girls”? How was the girl indisciplined? It is very easy for prejudiced males to call girls who have been molested “such girls”. For, according to these male chauvinists, these “such girls” invite molestation by their dress/ attitude/actions/behaviour and the molesting boy is not to be blamed. The only indiscipline the girl displayed was not taking the principal’s dismissal of her complaint lying down. How could a “such girl” have the temerity to go against him? Hence, she was expelled.
It is convoluted logic at its worst when we say that in a case of molestation it is the girl who is to be blamed and that it is she who tarnishes the image of the school. The girl was the one who suffered an outrage to her modesty. If she is removed from the school, the boy will go around molesting other girls. But if the boy is removed, there will be no chance of him harassing other girls. This simple logic escapes the intellect of supposedly educated people (yes, even women) who sit in authoritative positions.
The girl’s family has filed an FIR and the police have already registered a case under relevant sections against the boy. The Kushinagar police have also said that they have formed anti-romeo squads to prevent such incidents. But will punishing the boy be enough in this case? Shouldn’t the principal, who added salt to the wounds of the girl by slut-shaming her, also be punished for his vile decisions?