“Vengeful Mass”: the former students who led MeToo slam Symbiosis Law School

Symbiosis Law School has suspended its association with former students who criticized the institution’s actions while dealing with a sexual harassment case.

Two former students of Symbiosis Law School in Hyderabad called the institution “vengeful pettiness” after the college said it had “suspended their collaboration” with former students who criticized the college in a harassment case sexual intercourse in 2018. Apoorva Yarabahally and Snigdha Jayakrishnan – former students of the institution who had “exposed” a former assistant professor during the #MeToo movement in 2018 – said the institution’s action was a “tactic of ‘intimidation”.

Apoorva and Snigdha, students in the class of 2015-2020, led a #MeToo movement against assistant professor Srinivas Methuku in 2018. Apoorva and Snigdha shared screenshots of anonymous students who complained about inappropriate behavior by Srinivas Methuku on their Facebook accounts. In the investigation by the college’s Internal Committee (IC), eight students who allegedly testified before the Committee accused Srinivas of looking at their breasts. Srinivas would then have resigned from his post.

According to Live Law, several former students of Symbiosis Law School received an email on June 11, Friday, the day before Alumni Meet 2021, where the SLS alumni committee informed them that they had “suspended their collaboration” with the students who previously criticized the institution for expelling both Apoorva and Snigdha from the hostel for their “revenge”.

“… following your previous action against the college authorities, we regret to inform you that, according to our records, all collaborations with you have been suspended”, the email read, according to Live Law. On October 12, 2018, a total of 606 former students wrote to the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor condemning the actions against Apoorva and Snigdha and demanded a fair investigation into the allegations. Although SLS claims to have expelled Apoorva and Snigdha for “disciplinary action”, the action against the students was taken after they raised the issue of sexual harassment at the institution.

The email from the SLS Alumni Committee included a “template” apology attached, asking students to sign the apology if they wish to continue their association with SLS and attend the alumni meeting.

Responding to the question, Apoorva and Snigdha said in a joint statement on Saturday: “Every educational institution is expected to provide a democratic platform for the expression of dissent on any issue, political , social, economic or other. Blind adherence to market forces and profit-driven business entities should not be the only agenda, even for a private neoliberal educational institution. “

The statement added: “It is dangerous to assume that the ominous silence imposed on the student community will help your reputation. We do not view your attempt to ask for an apology as more than a sneaky tactic to intimidate independent thinking individuals into subjugation. But we have to tell you that, even in the most authoritarian spaces, resistance flourishes in tiny forms. “

Slamming further on SLS, they said, “In these difficult times as the pandemic has gripped this country, when your current students have been under tremendous pressure to attend classes and take exams online in the face of so many tragedies. , how could you take the time to punish a few of your former students for a letter written years ago when you know very well that you have no control over them. It’s time for you to personally engage with your students and be kind to them. Let’s put an end to this vengeful pettiness.

Symbiosis Law School principal Shashikala Gurpur said 90% of former students had sent letters of apology. “The rest of them want to normalize without accountability. We have moved on, but the majority of alumni want them to be held accountable. Therefore, we shared a model so that the database could be rectified, ”the director told Live Law.

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