Apart from family members, the only people we trust with our child’s safety and upbringing are teachers. Teachers are expected to build a child’s personality and help them make an identity of their own. At a time when most parents are working, teachers are entrusted so that they may help children distinguish right from wrong.
However, the rate at which these figures of authority are betraying our confidence has left many people disillusioned as well as concerned for the safety of their children. From the Principal who raped a 7-year-old and justified it, to an 18-year-old who was assaulted by her own teachers, we can’t determine where a predator lies.
Such situations demand a discretion of their own and the last thing they need is a promotion of rape culture. However, a teacher, Snehlata Shankhwar, from Raipur Kendra Vidyalaya has been accused of doing the exact opposite and turning her classes into those of moral policing.
The girls of class IX and XI recorded one of her lectures where she is heard telling girls, in the presence of boys that wearing revealing clothes “incites crimes like that of the Nirbhaya gangrape” and “girls like Nirbhaya who are outgoing are calling for it”.
The students had earlier written an anonymous letter to the Principal of the school describing the teacher’s lectures in detail. However, the idea seemed so far-fetched to him that he admitted that he thought it was a prank.
According to a report in Times of India, Shankhwar in one of the recordings can be heard talking about the Nirbhaya case and supporting the ordeal that befell her.
The woman who is a Biology teacher also warned the girls against wearing lipstick and jeans, and said,
“Girls expose their body only when they don’t have beautiful faces. Girls have become so shameless, why did Nirbhaya go out so late at night with a boy who wasn’t her husband?
It’s difficult to understand why an issue was made of this. Such incidents happen with girls in remote areas frequently. Nirbhaya’s mother shouldn’t have allowed her go out so late at night.”
The girls have also said that the teacher firmly believes that it was Nirbhaya’s fault and not the boys. She also re-iterated that girls who face such incidents are cursed and that it’s punishment for them. In the alleged audio clip, she also added that boys who see girls “doing it” with one person assume that she would “do it” with others too.
The parents of the girls have met the Principal on Monday and filed a complaint against the teacher. The girls told their parents that they felt uncomfortable as the teacher constantly talked about girls wearing skimpy clothes in the presence of boys. She allegedly said,
“Ladki dikha rahi hai matlab ladke samajhte hai ki wo chah rahi hai, iski icha hai, iska chalchalan kharab hai
(When a girl exposes her body, boys think the girl is available and she wants it as she is characterless)”
This kind of outright victim blaming is absolutely shameful and more so, coming from a teacher who is supposed to be setting an example for young minds. Sex being a taboo in our country, the least we can do is not keep our younger generation in the dark about consent and rape culture.