Jadavpur University Professor Barred From Teaching Over Sexist 'Virgin' Comments

Kanak Sarkar, an international relations professor, had likened a virgin woman to a "sealed bottle" or "packet" in a Facebook post.

Kolkata: Jadavpur University on Wednesday divested professor Kanak Sarkar of teaching duties and barred him from entering the campus with immediate effect, pending inquiries, following outrage over his Facebook post in which he likened a virgin woman to a “sealed bottle”.

“In view of the recommendation of the department of International Relations, Prof Kanak Sarkar is divested of his teaching duties with immediate effect. Substitute arrangements will be decided in the meeting of the Board of Studies on January 18,” a university notification said.

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Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das told reporters that Sarkar won’t be allowed to “take classes or enter the varsity campus with immediate effect” till the inquiries of the university-appointed committee, the State Women’s Commission and National Women’s Commission are over.

“We took the step after talking to students and department of International Relations and the internal code of conduct committee of the institute on the issue,” he said.

Sarkar, a professor of International Relations department, had likened a virgin woman to a “sealed bottle” or “packet” in his post on Sunday. Though he had deleted the post, screenshots of it went viral.

A top university official said, “The university is taking stringent measures in consultation with legal experts against Sarkar in sync with the statute of the institute.”

Facing criticism, a defiant Sarkar had appeared to justify his comments, asserting that it was intended for “fun” among a social media group of friends and “not for public consumption”.

“Someone took a screenshot of the post and forwarded it, which triggered the response. I did not intend to hurt anyone’s sentiment or insult any woman,” he said. He also said according to a Supreme Court order every individual is entitled to express his opinion.

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