New Delhi :
The Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) at the AIIMS organised a workshop to spread awareness on the “legal and psychological aspects” of the MeToo movement and urged doctors to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment, if any.
RDA president Harjit Bhatti said he had faced a backlash when he decided to organise the workshop as a section of resident doctors and his male friends said asked him why he was trying to promote a campaign which could be misused to spoil someone’s career.
“They also gave me examples of complaints where the woman tried to take revenge by making false allegations of sexual harassment. But then the issue of not about men or women, it is a gender neutral movement,” he said.
“Anyone, who is facing sexual harassment at workplace or in society, irrespective of gender, must come forward and speak out so others get to know about the perpetrator. This attitude of oppressing the juniors must get reported,” Bhatti said.
Pratap Sharan, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and in-charge of the Student Wellness Centre at the AIIMS, said perpetrators in such cases sometimes are struggling with psychological issues and the prevention aspect is limited as they rarely come forward for treatment, unless they have committed a major crime.
Terming #MeToo as a social movement, he said there was a need to change the mindset of people towards patriarchy.“There is a need to change perception. At institutional level, there should be policies in place so that one can easily report about such incidents. Education and awareness can act as a way of prevention,” he said.
Sharan said there was not much literature available on perpetrators involved in such cases. “When we can”t understand the mindset of these people, nothing can be done to change it,” he said.
The workshop focussed on psychological aspects of this movement and was aimed at spreading awareness among the medical students so they can talk about anything and are also aware of the legal aspects.
Nundy said that this movement was not a “men against women” but it was a movement of “people against patriarchy”.“The due process of filing a complaint is a big failure of our Constitution. Our criminal laws are a combination of victorian patriarchy, of progressive thinking and contemporary patriarchy,” she said.