Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The sad story of Dr Siras.Time to end this moral policing


Dr Srinivas Ramachandra Siras,Chairman of the Department of Modern Indian Languages at Aligarh Muslim University was about to retire from his job in September this year after 22 years of distinguished service.. But on February 19, 2010 he was suspended from his job and was asked to leave the University campus vacating his quarters. His crime.....? Having consensual sex in the privacy of his quarters. All the hell broke loose because of a minor factor. His partner was a man.


The Vice Chancellor said he is being suspended for grave misconduct. The suspension was on the basis of a video recording filmed inside Dr Siras's quarters with out his consent.

Dr Siras approached the High Court. On April 1 a Division Bench of Allahabad High Court stayed the suspension and allowed Dr Siras to resume his work and to live in his quarters.

On April 4 Dr Siras approached the Chief Judicial Magistrate seeking action against AMU officials and media persons for intruding his privacy, harassing and blackmailing him.

The life less body of 62-year-old Siras, was found on April 7 lying on the bed in his private apartment outside the University. It was believed that he died at least 2 days ago, may be on April 5, the day after he approached the Court against University authorities. Cause of death is still not known.

Was he killed? Or did he commit suicide? He was on the verge of a personal victory after the High Court order. He proved that he is a fighter by approaching the Court against University authorities. Will such a person take his own life at that particular juncture?

The family members and the Teachers Association have demanded high level probe into the matter.

Some people on the AMU faculty believe that the Vice Chancellor of the University was trying to divert attention from the negative publicity it had received with the recent inquiry ordered by the President of India, Pratibha Patil, after instances of financial bungling and mismanagement came to light. They believe that the video filming was arranged and paid for by top administrators of the University.

A first information report (FIR) was finally registered against four Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) officials and some journalists for breaching the privacy of Dr Siras, on April 9. The case was registered only because of the directions of the court.

The Integrated network of sexual minorities of India [INFOSEM] has started an online petition campaign in this issue. The network demands a judicial enquiry into the whole issue and the suspension of the Vice Chancellor; they want the AMU to respect the rights of its faculty and students, especially their privacy in matters of sex, sexuality and gender.

Aligarh Muslim University is supposed to be the bastion of minority religious rights. But when it comes to the rights of sexual minorities AMU was found inept in ensuring justice.

In view of the recent landmark Delhi High Court judgment legalising Gay sex, let us hope that at least in future, rights of sexual minorities will not be trampled upon by society.

13 comments:

  1. This whole thing is so sad and wrong that I don't know what to say...The worst part is that the videographers have not been punished...

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  2. Very sad, indeed. :(

    It would be difficult for us to say whether it was a murder/suicide. He could've lost the courage to face the students after being reinstated.

    Though the outcome was very different, similarly unethical means were used to 'catch' ND Tiwari. Tiwari was indeed at fault, but the 'reporters' who had coaxed the female 'volunteers' "without paying, without forcing" & obviously without consent also need to be probed. It was surprising somehow this aspect of entire sting operation on Tiwari was not condemned.

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  3. I agree with Sraboney, the videographers should be punished, and if they are questioned one would get an idea about who started all this horrible interference in his personal life... :(

    And I agree, "Aligarh Muslim University is supposed to be the bastion of minority religious rights. But when it comes to the rights of sexual minorities AMU was found inept in ensuring justice."

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  4. A crime is a crime.. even if against any minority or majority.. Hopefully those who are behind this will be punished..

    if this man had the guts to approach the court then one needs to rule out a suicide..


    and if one thought it is worse in India..then elsewhere it not any better..

    Dad sues ‘Thank God for Dead Soldiers’ church

    Group targeted son’s funeral, saying God punishes U.S. for tolerating gays

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36449471/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts//

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  5. Some of the worst crimes against humanity is being committed in the name of religion. On what base had the University suspended him in the first place? Because acc to the religious belief they adhere to, homosexuality is a grave sin. I've nothing against any religion or beliefs but in this 21st Century when we have scientific explanation available for everything, holding on to such barbarian beliefs and info only leads to crimes like this...

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  6. Bones,
    Yes it is sad and sickening. Hope those responsible will be punished. Those who planned the whole thing and those who executed it have to be punished

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  7. Ketan,yes the privacy of Tiwari was also violated and he has a valid case in the court. But I think his first response was denial,saying he was not the man in the video. Then you cannot say my privacy was violated.

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  8. IHM, Yes so much noise is heard abt minority rights especially here in Kerala. Here the same minorities are trampling the rights of a smaller minority.

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  9. Happy Kitten,
    Initial reports said that Dr Siras was resigning to his fate without a fight.But later he found the capacity and support to fight legal battles. He was re instated and was winning his fight.So we should not rule out murder.
    All orthodox ppl are similar all over the World.

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  10. Scorpiogenius, religious belief had a big say on the decision of the University,but to be fair to University the suspension order only said grave misconduct and bad example to the students.It might have occurred in other Universities also in India.
    Yes, religions try to wrap themselves in bygone centuries.

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  11. True Charakan, I was merely talking from perspective of exploitation of women "used" to frame Tiwari.

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  12. This is really sad!! I would call this murder. By society.

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  13. writezblock, yes literally and may be in reality also it is a murder.

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Comments are welcome especially if you do not think like me. But anonymous comments behind masks and those not relevant to the post are not encouraged.