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India: Justice for Professor Siras

by All India Progressive Women’s Association, 25 February 2010

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25 February 2010

Withdraw suspension of Professor Siras

Punish those responsible for violating his privacy

The suspension of Professor Shrinivas Ramachandra Siras of AMU based
on video-tapes of his private life that constitute a violation of his
privacy constitute a serious violation of the fundamental rights of
Professor Siras. Profesor Siras has clearly been harassed for being

In the first place, being homosexual is no longer illegal in India.
The Delhi HC verdict last year decriminalising homosexuality by
amending Section 377 said, “Moral indignation, howsoever strong, is
not a valid basis for overriding individual’s fundamental rights of
dignity and privacy. In our scheme of things, constitutional morality
must outweigh the argument of public morality.” The custodians of
’public morality’ in India disapprove of many things: not only
homosexuality, or pre-marital sex, but also marriage in defiance of
caste diktats, women wearing jeans, Hindu women marrying Muslim men…
the list is endless. Such moral police cannot be allowed to prevail
over the fundamental constitutional rights that all citizens enjoy.

In a democracy, we cannot allow a person to be deprived of his job on
grounds that he (or she) has affronted ’morality’ or ’culture.’
People’s personal sexual orientation or private life and relationships
cannot be the basis to throw anyone out of a job.

And finally, to install secret cameras in someone’s bedroom and film
his or her intimate life is an act of sexual violence, and must be
investigated and punished.

We join academics, students and gay rights groups in demanding justice
for Professor Siras.

Kavita Krishnan,

for All India Progressive Women’s Association, (AIPWA)