Cutting across party lines, all seven candidates fighting for the post of students’ representatives for Jawaharlal Nehru University’s (JNU) Gender Sensitisation Committee against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) stressed on making the committee accessible and friendly for the LGBTQ community.
Among the seven who are contesting, two student representatives will be elected to GSCASH — a body which works towards combating sexual harassment in the university. The election will be held on April 10 and the results will be declared on April 11.
GSCASH is a non-political body and does not consider any political affiliations.
Two candidates of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — Vasundhari Bharti and Sourabh Kumar also said that they would ensure no discrimination against LGBT community.
“GSCASH is not only about girls but also about boys and transgenders and we need to work for it. Importantly, the body has to be made free from political affiliations to re-establish students’ belief on the body,” said Sourabh, the only male candidate in the election.
Similarly, Geeta Kumari, representing All India Students Association also stressed on broadening the definition of gender within GSCASH.
“Also important is to make GSCASH autonomous and make its verdicts binding upon JNU administration and from detrimental provision of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Act,” said Kumari.
On the other hand, representatives from Students Federation of India (SFI) Salini LR, Aishwarya Adhikari from Democratic Students Federation (DSF), Rahila Perween from All India Students Federation (AISF) and Heena Goswami from National Students Union of India feel the government in many ways is trying strengthen control of patriarchy which needs to be stopped and gender equality needs to be worked on.
“From ghar wapsi to love jihad BJP-RSS-VHP-Bajrang Dal combined are working relentlessly to strengthen the control of patriarchy over the lives of women and undermining movements towards democratization of gender relations. So GSCASH can serve as a vital bulwark against such reactionary politics,” said Salini.