The Telegraph
Friday , October 7 , 2016
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Gender talk throws up new ideas

Jorhat, Oct. 6: A talk on gender discrimination and sexual harassment at J.B. College here today threw up some interesting aspects.

The programme was organised by the political science department and the Gender Sensitisation and Sexual Harassment Committee of the college.

During the session, a call was given for biological research so that men can reproduce like women . Other points included debunking the need to breastfeed babies for the first six months, differentiating between a friendly pat or slap on the back and a touch with sexual overtones among people of opposite sexes.

Manorama Sarma, one of the speakers and a retired professor of Nehu, said recently a student had complained to the vice-chancellor against her guide, detailing the sexual harassment she has been facing and her plan to quit her studies because of it.

"In India, where patriarchy is predominant, it takes a lot for women to come out openly to state that they are being harassed. In these cases, they should receive justice and society should stand behind them so that they are not left with the feeling that there is no point in complaining," Sarma said.

Sarma said a ruling by Bombay High Court on incest, which was reported today, did not seem right as a father was let off on the grounds that he was blind and that the daughter, now in her teens, should have complained earlier when the whole thing started.

"The girl said she did not know that her father was abusing her sexually and it was only after growing up and being made aware of what constituted abuse that she dared to file a complaint," Sarma said.

The parents had separated and the girl was being raised by the father.

Apurba Kumar Baruah, another speaker and retired professor of Nehu, said research should also be started to enable men to reproduce.

"The way things are moving, the day will not be far when a man will no longer be needed in this process. It is better that they start reproducing," he said.

Regarding a friendly pat, the speakers said whenever a woman feels uneasy when a man touches her, it should be construed as harassment and that the Supreme Court had even said if a male kept on looking at a female for 10 seconds or more it could be considered sexual harassment.

Both the speakers are members of Sustho Samaj Bikash Chakra, a forum to spread awareness regarding rights, democracy and gender discrimination.

Couple get RI

Jorhat district and sessions judge Vinod Kumar Chandak today sentenced a couple from Uttar Pradesh to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1 lakh each after convicting the duo of drug peddling under Section 20 (B) of the NDPS Act.

The couple are Buton Giri, 51, and his wife Ramsakhi Devi, 49, both residents of Chakabari village in Gajpur district. They were arrested on March 29, 2013, at a police checkpoint on Cinnamara while they were going to Jorhat from Mariani.

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