Kolkata teacher sacked over sexual orientation sends legal notice to global school body
A former teacher of a reputable school in West Bengal’s Kolkata, sacked by the authorities in February allegedly over his sexual orientation, has sent a legal notice to the Council of International Schools (CIS), the global body for accreditation to which the school is affiliated.
Avijit Kundu, the former mathematics and physics teacher of Calcutta International School, alleged he was sacked on February 5, a day after his autobiography Amar Shamakami Ejahar (My Homosexual Confession) was released at the Kolkata International Book Fair.
The school authorities denied Kundu’s allegations and its human resource manager Chayita Sen said that his services as a part-time teacher were no longer required.
“In my notice, I challenged the statement given by the school authorities to the media that Avijit Kundu’s service was terminated since the school did not require part-time teachers,” Kundu’s lawyer Anupam Sircar said.
“I challenged their decision selecting him in isolation on this ground since none of the other part-time teachers of Calcutta International School suffered the same fate,” he added.
Sircar said he has not demanded any compensation or reinstatement for Kundu, an engineering graduate from Jadavpur University.
“I have requested the CIS authorities to ensure that none in future should be subjected to such humiliation in an educational institution because of his or her sexual orientation,” he added.
Copies of the notice were also forwarded to principal secretaries of West Bengal school education and state women and child welfare departments, deputy commissioner of police (east division) of Kolkata Police, chairperson of West Bengal Transgender Development Board and the district inspector of schools (secondary), Kolkata.
Kundu said before taking the legal step he wanted to know from the authorities the grounds for his abrupt termination of service.
“On March 18, I also sent an e-mail to CIS principal, Dr Moon Moon Nath, asking the reason for my dismissal. She did not respond to my mail, but telephoned me and expressed a desire to meet me to discuss the matter. However, since then there has been total silence,” said Kundu
“Right now, I am not considering any permanent job. But I want to ensure that none else should ever face such injustice,” he added.
Manabi Bandopadhyay, the vice-chairperson of West Bengal Transgender Development Board and also India’s first transgender college principal, said she could empathise with Kundu as she too faced similar humiliations.
“However, I need to read the mail sent to the board before speaking on the matter,” she said.