Women activists seek V-Cís ouster, Sibal promises action

Kapil sibal

Beginning the day by appearing on TV channels and aggressively justifying his offensive remarks against women writers that "there is a race among them to demonstrate they are the greatest prostitute", the Vice-Chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University (MGIHU), Wardha, Maharashtra, Vibhuti Narain Rai, was soon pushed on the backfoot on Sunday as outraged women activists cornered him, demanding his resignation, and the government taking strong exception to the comments.

"If this (Rai's remarks) is true, then it is an affront to womanhood. Such disparaging remarks about women writers suggest a mindset which is inconsistent with the dignity of the office he holds. If upon investigation we find that he made such remarks, then it is a matter of serious concern and we will take action against him," HRD Minister Kapil Sibal told The Indian Express.

As reported by The Sunday Express, Rai said in a recent interview published in a noted Hindi journal Naya Gyanodaya: "Lekhikaon men hod lagi hai yeh sabit karne ki unse badi chhinal koi nahi hai."

With many women writers demanding an explanation from him, what further shocked them was his appearance on TV channels, justifying the use of word "chhinal".

"This is absolutely shocking. Such a V-C, whose chairperson is the President, cannot remain in his seat. I've already discussed the issue with Mr Sibal," CPM MP Brinda Karat said. Karat is likely to lead a delegation of women writers to the minister on Monday, seeking action against Rai, a 1975-batch IPS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre.

In her reaction, National Commission for Women Chairperson Girija Vyas said, "At a time when women writers are struggling to make their mark, the V-C of a Hindi university is using such foul words against them. Strict action should be taken against him."

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