‘Me Too’ and the ‘List’ – power dynamics, shame, and accountability in Indian academia

‘Me Too’ and the ‘List’ – power dynamics, shame, and accountability in Indian academia

In October 2017, Raya Sarkar, a law student of Indian descent, posted a crowdsourced list on Facebook of male academics who allegedly harassed women. India’s academic world splintered and the #MeToo movement became a student movement emerging from campuses resisting a culture of widespread sexism, abuse, and violence which is rife in Indian academia. Some academics criticised the List for leaving out the names of accusers and specific details of the alleged incidents, raising questions about anonymity and accountability. However, the List also received extensive support as for decades survivors have tried unsuccessfully to get justice through the system following informal and formal complaint mechanisms, and it became a manifestation of years of frustration against institutions. Keeping the List at its core, this article explores ideas of due process, the need for intersectional approaches to fight sexual and gender-based violence in academia, and finally the ideas of institutional accountability.

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