In another appalling display of outright sexism and misogyny, a Jawaharlal Nehru University scholar has been subjected to a significant questioning and criticism.
The Women’s Development Cell (WDC) of Miranda House has posted a statememt on their Instagram handle alleging that over the past few weeks they have received various complaints about a post-graduate student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), a former All India Students Association (AISA) member, ‘sending lewd jokes’ to the college girls. WDC said that the JNU student ‘is a sexist man who unapologetically indulges in harassment of women’.
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These screenshots capture the essence of accounts of women regarding Aman Sinha. We at WDC extend our full support to the people who have sent us complaints regarding Aman Sinha from JNU. We believe survivors and stand firmly with them. If you have been subject to something similar and are comfortable sharing ir please let us know. This post serves as a safety warning to all women out there, a reminder to not fall prey into this kind of threats. Be safe, everyone!
Aman Sinha, the JNU scholar in question reportedly claims to be an intellectual, aware, and socially-sensible individual and identifies himself as an active revolutionary voicing the concerns of women; and in that, being a fighting to intitiate a change in the society. However, the accusations (the substance of which has been denied by Sinha) levelled against him suggest otherwise. The aforementioned statement by WDC Miranda calls him out as a ‘woke boy’. Earlier this October, Sinha was denied participation in the Pinjra Tod protest near the Arts Faculty in North Campus after various women complained about his presence making them uncomfortable. AISA had removed him from their organisation earlier. By his own admittance Sinha was caught indulging in “rolling and smoking a joint”. Questioning of this illicit behavior was justified by Sinha as being an activity that he did away from the crowd and for his own.
In a screenshot of the WhatsApp chat on this issue shared by Purnima, a victim of Sinha’s explicit insensitivity, Sinha abused the women who objected against his misbehavior.
Anoushka Parija, the President of WDC told The Times of India, “There was so much concern about the JNU student’s predatory nature that the victims circulated a thread of messages warning girls to stay away from him.” He kept texting one of the girls for months and to get a reaction out of her, sent unsolicited lewd jokes and videos.As reported by Times of India, Parija said, “We have put out a statement so that more students can come forward with their experiences. We will be sending these complaints to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) of the college and will eventually take legal recourse in the issue.”
Responding to the alleged claims against him, Sinha told a daily, “The statement has no mention of any case nor is it talking about a specific incident. This is an attempt to malign my name. The statement from WDC on social media is an act of vendetta against me by a few members of the organisation and many women have come out in my support.” Parija mentioned, “Details of specific complaints cannot be revealed on social media, but all the complainants have valid proof.” The college body has also appealed to members of “the intellectual circles” who associate with the JNU student to stop doing so.
Purnima Vijaya, another victim of Sinha’s, talked to DU Beat about the issue. She says, “Aman Sinha has denied all the allegations by claiming that the WDC has a personal vendetta against him, but that’s a very useless defense. I am not a part of WDC, I have nothing to do with it to be honest. I have been personally attacked by the obsessive and stalkerish behaviour of this person.”
Continuing on this note, Purnima remarks, “His counter statements have absolutely no meat, in the entire thing, he keeps talking about how he is the real feminist and none of his victims are. This again is just plain narcissistic behaviour. We are not floating accusations in the air, we have consolidated legit proof and put it up for everybody to see. His statement doesn’t address any of the evidence that has been put out against him. As an unofficial collective fighting against this pretend-feminist Sinha, it is felt by us that Sinha must address the accusations directly or apologize. Far too many victims have reached out to the WDC; detailing their gruesome and disgusting experiences imposed by Sinha on them.”
DU Beat contacted Aman Sinha. He said,”It is important to believe the survivor’s narrative especially in our brahmanical patriarchal society since women have been silenced for too long. But how feminist is our vision if it refuses to acknowledge multitude and a pastiche of voices? It is also true that women to carry a patriarchal mindset gaining if from the Indian feudalism. Is it the egalitarian society we aspire to, one where only one voice is given legitimacy and credibility? The political model of sieving trauma as a truth runs the risk of what Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has called the danger of a single story.”
The posting of the statement and subsequent reactions to the various instances of women speaking against the alleged predatory nature of Sinha has been a practice in resistance. The entirety of the problem puts the intellectual circle in question. Tha vain revolutionary spirit; a facade for ulterior political motives, makes us see all actions more clearly.
Following is the link to the statements of victims of Sinha, shared by Purnima Vijaya.
Feature Image Credits: WDC Miranda House