When hundreds of her peers sat in rapt attention listening to a government-assigned value-education trainer who taught girls to be diffident and made offending remarks, Arya Suresh stood up and took on the trainer, Dr Rajith Kumar. She walked out of the programme in protest.
The incident, which happened in the first week of February in Thiruvananthapuram, won immense praise for Suresh, a final-year degree student in a city college. She was the lone voice of dissent in the audience which sat silently when the trainer made the offensive remarks. Here is a sample of what Kumar said: “It requires only 10 minutes for a man to send sperm into the uterus of a woman, but she has to carry the child for the next 10 months. Rapes would not happen if girls were dressed properly. Women are not supposed to jump because if they fall, their uterus will get dislocated. If a smart boy makes an attempt, he can make any girl fall for him and then use her.’’
Suresh says Kumar’s speech was highly objectionable. “I asked some of my friends to react against this rubbish. I could not silently hear offensive remarks,’’ she says. “After the protests against Delhi gang rape, what I expected from such a talk was more enlightenment for women.”