Responding to criticism of her crowd-sourced list naming academics who have been accused of sexual harassment by students, Raya Sarkar, an Indian lawyer based in the United States, asserted that everyone on the list had violated the sexual harassment grounds set by Visakha guidelines.
"As far as listing down what every alleged perpetrator did in the crowdsourced list. All of them violate the sexual harassment grounds established by Visakha v. State of Rajasthan and other case law in respective countries I referred to determine if it was sexual harassment or not. If anything, I know my case law. All of them are terrible, jarring accounts. Not a "hi sweetie" which is also fucking inappropriate," she said in a post on her Facebook page.
The lawyer also revealed that she was a victim of a brutal rape and hit out saying that she will 'take the hit' for the victims and supporters as many of the academics named on her list have been calling and harassing them.
"It took a toll on me, reading all the complaints ...because I am a survivor of a brutal rape. The reason why I did not mention what they did is because as expected many alleged perps are calling and harassing their victims. Or whoever shared or supported the list. They may easily recall who they did it to and then put defamation suits and other colonial laws that stifle free speech in India. (God bless the first amendment) Whatever happens I will take the hit for you. If they drive me to committing suicide so be it. I believe you. I care for you. Future students, be wary of all the alleged perpetrators. That's it," she said.
Raya Sarkar also, in a separate post advised sexual harassment victims to file an FIR with the police rather than go to internal committees because they would 'exhaust the victims harder than courts'.
Advising victims to be alert and collect whatever evidence possible, she further added that she will help out the victims by connecting them to lawyers who can take their case pro bono (for free).
"I will send you a list of lawyers and dear friends who have agreed to take cases pro bono (for free). Also go to savarna feminist lawyers/Action groups and see if they help you. If they come with rape apologia or sexual harassment apologia come report to me/Greeshma Aruna Rai. Take voice recordings ( there are many apps on Android and iPhone). Dont tell them I advised you to do so. Take recordings of your perps too. Evidence/+testimony is key. Remember, Weinstein got kicked on his butt harder cause of voice recordings. Take a video recording. Even better. I Believe You. I Believe You. I Believe You," read her post.
Raya Sarkar's initiative comes after the #MeToo campaign where thousands of people spoke out on social media about being sexually harassed by powerful men, after actress' sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
A Facebook post by woman lawyer Raya Sarkar inviting others to name academics who have sexually harassed their students had gone viral on Tuesday, with 58 professors listed by name and the institution they serve at.
The list includes several prominent academics from some of India’s premier academic institutions. Among them are 12 professors at Jadavpur University, nine at Delhi University, three each from Film and Television Institute (FTII) and SRFTI, two professors at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and one of them is a leading political theorist from the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences.