Kolkata: Amid allegations of moral policing at Jadavpur University that has kicked up a storm on campus and the virtual world, vice-chancellor Suranjan Das has agreed to discuss the issue with the complainants and accused on April 12.
Students and the alumni have come down heavily on what they described “an assault on the democratic space”. Somashree Choudhury, chairperson of JU’s Arts Faculty Students’ Union, said, “This is the first time we have witnessed moral policing on campus. No one has ever intruded into our democratic space. We will do everything to stop such interference.” Choudhury said an anti-Romeo squad goes against JU values. “Dividing us by putting up a narrow, gender-specific wall is not acceptable,” Choudhury said.
Her friend, Shabnam Surita, a doctoral researcher at the Asian Studies department in Germany’s University of Bonn, is equally perturbed with news of campus vigilantism. “I just passed out of JU. Our university , as both an academic and a cultural space, has always encouraged dissent. It has also and taught us how to differentiate between dissent and attack. The idea of an anti-Romeo squad is nothing but an attack on personal and social freedom,” Surita said.
Rajarshi Middya, a senior research fellow of JU’s School of Mobile Computing and Communication, said, “I can’t imagine our campus being policed by an over-protective brigade. Every university has a culture and if this brigade is allowed to thrive, it will pollute the environment that has helped the varsity reach great heights.”