Sexual Harassment Allegations Rocks Chennai’s prestigious Art Institute

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New Delhi (India), April 1, 2023: The Chennai police have initiated legal action against an assistant professor at Kalakshetra, a renowned institution for classical arts, following a complaint of sexual harassment by a former student.

Hari Padman, the accused, has been facing allegations of sexual harassment, body-shaming, and verbal abuse by around 200 students, both men, and women, including three repertory artists.

The students have alleged that the administration has been indifferent to their complaints and have sought the removal of Director Revathi Ramachandran for inaction and the reconstitution of the internal complaints committee.

The Kalakshetra Foundation, established in 1936 by dancer Rukmini Devi Arundale, is an institute of national importance that offers courses in Bharatanatyam dance, Carnatic music, and other traditional arts. The institution has a reputation for high standards of excellence and discipline and has produced numerous renowned artists over the decades. However, the recent allegations have cast a shadow over its reputation.

Around 90 students had submitted a complaint to the chief of the state women’s commission, and the Chief Minister, MK Stalin, promised to take appropriate legal action against the guilty parties.

Earlier, the National Commission for Women had dismissed the charges as a disinformation campaign, but the protests by the students have gained momentum in recent days. The students allege years of sexual harassment, body-shaming, verbal abuse, and discrimination based on their skin color.

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