Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Inside story of IIMB : Sexual harassment, gender discrimination

Bangalore: the spiritual atmosphere at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore hide the rot that grows at the heart of the regime. Although the Institute to throw out the quality of corporate executives, year after year, on its premises is a growing dissatisfaction of putrefaction, which is a regulation, particularly in the rampant sexual harassment and sex discrimination, which is the victim of a worker to the prestigious institute.


Manjula Cherkil, senior executive at the Centre for Corporate Governance and Citizenship, IIMB, delivered a lonely battle against the big guys back of  IIMB.


She has been allegedly victimised through a demotion and suspension over her 32-year work experience at the institute.Her efforts to obtain justice were unsuccessful, they comprise a series of letters to IIMB directors over the years. This is the current director Pankaj Chandra, who finally said she call January 23, 2010 ... but it was not reassuring.



It states: "It is not appropriate on your part to make unsubstantiated comments against anyone of the institute (IIMB). I would strongly advise you to refrain from making such comments." (The copies of the letter as well as documents relating to Manjula's case are in DNA's possession).
And her fault: speaking out against sexual harassment and gender discrimination, besides fighting against clear violations in promotion/selection processes within the institute which have favoured the undeserving and the under-qualified.
Having suffered sexual harassment "at the hands of a few of the officers of the institute", Manjula had filed a complaint to the then IIMB director on February 23, 1993. The letter describes her predicament over being asked to "hold the fort" in a new assignment at the institute in the absence of her bosses, and how she had feared taking it up following an earlier case of sexual advances by IIMB's senior officers on female staffers in the executive block of the institute by "summoning the lady staff to the guesthouse".
But her efforts to get justice culminated in her being demoted from senior stenographer to a position of junior stenographer, allowing some of her subordinates to be promoted over her.

She was also suspended for 22 months through an intra-institute order dated August 8, 1994, and also suspected for authoring a derogatory letter (dated August 4, 1994) addressed to the then chief administrative officer (CAO), Brig Ramaswamy—a charge which was never proved.

Her demotion and suspension impacted not just her professional and personal life but also set her back financially due to loss of remuneration that was earlier due to her, which she has till date not been compensated for.
As if that was not enough, her representation of appeal to IIM-B director to seek justice (dated June 18, 2006) culminated in her being issued a show-cause notice from IIM-B's current chief administrative officer, Indushekhar CV, who himself is involved in sexual harassment of several women staffers of the institute, as alleged by some of them.
Manjula's travails at the IIMB include being allegedly forced to withdraw a writ petition (No 20074 of 2001) filed in Karnataka high court based on IIMB director's oral promise that the issues would be settled in her favour only if she withdrew the case from the court.
Manjula has withdrawn her request, a request to the High Court of Karnataka in 2004, but the promise has not been fulfiled. There is no respite of a quarter, Manjula, February 9, 2010 filed a complaint with the Women's Commission of the State of Karnataka and is awaiting justice.


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