Lena (name changed to respect privacy), once a student at the same University, joined in as a guest lecturer after completing her studies. But, she felt threatened and was under constant stress, hence decided to leave the university job and return home to her parents in Maharastra, in India.
Lena shares her experiences, when she first joined in as a guest lecturer in the department. Within few days of her joining, her friends and colleagues who stayed up together with her at the hostel, started asking if HS started sending her messages (SMS) asking her about her routine job works and what time she is free off works etc. but Lena could not understand then the meaning in those words. After the very first week, Lena started getting messages from HS. He would ask her what time she starts working, what she does after finishing her works, and he would even message her in the evenings, asking her what she does during the evening, and what time she goes to sleep etc. at first, Lena thought that as her senior professor and guide, he was probably asking her in order to be able to support her at works. But she says ‘his attitude and his language eventually become clear of his intentions, when he asked her for a personal treat, just the two of them, so that they could discuss her progress at work and thus she would get to know how much he cares for her and is concerned about her works too. He even went on to say, how much expectations he has from her and wants to help her develop in life and works’ said Lena.
She stopped replying to his messages in order to give him a gesture that she does not appreciate such talks. But he started to call her to check why she wasn’t replying to his messages. She tried to get away by saying she does not have enough money to top up her mobile phone to use messages, and she was shocked when he said that he shall pay for her mobile costs. She was further shocked when he asked her to stay after her work in the department and help him with his Ph.D. She denied saying ‘she feels un-easy to say up after works at the department alone with him especially when no other women professors will be around’. She was further shocked to hear him say that, ‘with such an attitude how can he assist her to develop in her job and works’?
Lena discussed this matter with her friends and colleagues from works and they all had similar experiences. But, no one dared to make a complain since they all felt insecure staying all by themselves at the hostel, moreover, they come from families who are orthodox and fear if their families get to know such matters they might be asked or even forced to quit their studies and or jobs and return homes. So most of the times, these women shared their stories together and continued to stay under stress or just cried in their privacy when they could. They however, do feel that some women maybe entertaining the professor, no wonder, he makes his moves to others.
Lena decided to quit her job and return home, the day after the professor asked her to join him on his trip to Chandigarh, alone. He said that he will discuss about her progress at her job and also share something of importance. She asked if she can have this talk at the department itself, to which he denied saying that, ‘some talks happen best alone’. And she should join him to his trip to Chandigarh especially since he will be touring alone, without his wife and he will pay for all the costs so she can have a paid vacation too.
Our team spoke to Lena over a 1 hour talk on Skype before sharing this information. It is sad, shocking and shameful to know, while one half of India is striving ahead with a vision to be part of a developing global economy, there is another half who is harassing, raping or just enjoying their treating women as part of a pleasure game.