Speech row: Education department clean chit to Rejith Kumar

Published: 15th June 2013 12:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th June 2013 12:27 PM   |  A+A-

The Education Department has given a clean chit to value-education trainer Rejith Kumar who delivered a controversial speech at the Government Women’s College here in February which evoked widespread protests from various women’s groups. The clean chit forms part of an inquiry report submitted by Deputy Director of Collegiate Education P K Girija Devi before the Kerala State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC). The report, accessed by Express, came in response to a complaint filed by former MLA Shobhana George before the Commission.

“The (value education) classes by Dr Rejith Kumar has created a sort of purification in the minds of the listeners,” reads the report which goes on to say that it is improper to misinterpret the speech of a “sage-like person.”  “The words of Dr Rejith Kumar stress on the importance of women’s empowerment. The literal meaning of his speech should be seen in the context of his father-like anxiety towards the girl child,” the report says.

The report criticises the action of Arya Suresh, a final-year student of the college who heckled Rejith Kumar and walked out in protest against his alleged objectionable remarks during the speech. The action of Arya seems to be an “immature reaction of a girl who lacks common sense,” says the report.

 Rejith Kumar, trainer of National Service Scheme and professor at Sree Sankara College, Kalady, delivered a speech at the Government Women’s College here on February 8 to create awareness about atrocities against women. However, certain explicit references to reproduction and statements linking dressing of women to rapes evoked strong protests.

 “Examination of the CD of the speech shows that Arya heckled Dr Rejith Kumar when he was saying that women’s eyes should be like fire,” said the report which also includes the written testimonies of the acting principal, students and teachers besides Kumar and Arya.

“The statements from teachers and students show that the controversial references were part of Dr Rejith Kumar’s speech. It also shows that the speech evoked resentment among the listeners,” the report said. “After the controversial speech, Dr Kumar asked listeners if there was anything wrong in what he said and the response was no,” the report noted.

SHRC has posted the case to July 5 and asked the complainant Shobhana George to furnish her response to the Department’s report in case she wants to pursue the case.

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