Time to shut down St Stephen's? Principal, governing body ponder amid sexual harassment row

St. Stephen's principal Valson Thampu Wednesday said the college was 'at the cross-roads' even as a member of its Governing Body wondered whether the time has come to shut down the institution in the wake of a controversy over sexual harassment of a research scholar.

hidden July 11, 2015 09:00:31 IST
Time to shut down St Stephen's? Principal, governing body ponder amid sexual harassment row

New Delhi: St Stephen's principal Valson Thampu Wednesday said the college was "at the cross-roads" even as a member of its Governing Body wondered whether the time has come to shut down the institution in the wake of a controversy over sexual harassment of a research scholar.

Time to shut down St Stephens Principal governing body ponder amid sexual harassment row

St Stephen's College. College website.

"There is serious rot in the education system... Principals have to live in fear and serve in servitude. They have to bend backwards before every Tom, Dick and Harry. Those who do not, get hammered".

"The college doesn't deserve the shabby treatment it is being administered by a section of society including handful of 'disgruntled' alumni," the principal said on Facebook in response to a post by Deepak Mukarji, a member of the St. Stephen's College Governing Body.

"I agree with Deepak that the College is truly at the cross-roads," Thampu said.

Mukarji said in the Facebook post, "Now that the Supreme Council has stated its support for St. Stephen's College and its Principal, it may well be time to introspect the future of the College, including considering shutting the College and handing the premises over to St Stephen's Hospital as a R&D institution or some such facility to do with medical education".

"The core purpose of Christian service to the nation would not change while certainly reducing the unnecessary level of noise around it," Mukarji added.

St Stephen's Supreme Council, which is a part of the Governing Body, had earlier this week come out in support of Thampu, saying the college is being subjected to character assassination by vested interests.

Thampu is at the centre of controversy over a sexual harassment row which is rocking the college these days. A research scholar has alleged she was molested by an assistant professor and that the principal had tried to shield him.

While Thampu has claimed that he is being "chased as an animal" over the issue despite doing his best in the capacity of principal, a section of students, teachers, alumni and several women right organisations have been demanding his removal.

Thampu, who has been embroiled in controversies ever since he took over as the college principal in 2008, had earlier last week said he would resign if "it is objectively proved that he is an embarrassment to the institution".

PTI

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