Dr. Siras, a professor at the Aligarh Muslim University ("AMU"), shot to national prominence a couple of months ago after lhe was videotaped having sex with another man began circulating on campus. Because AMU, in its wisdom, decided to suspend the professor for "gross indecency" rather than take any action against those who broke into Dr. Siras' home and violated his privacy (a Times of India piece said it was reporters who had done the taping; other sources have claimed that a tape was sent to AMU authorities) in a manner that can only be called, well, gross and indecent. [The report of a fact-finding team may be found HERE.]
Why am I bringing this up now? Because Dr. Siras is now dead, apparently the result of a suicide a few days after a court ordered his reinstatement. But legal victories are small compensation for a public culture of hostility on campus. Those who taped him --students or others -- are morally responsible, and AMU itself is complicit; and perhaps worse, given that some AMU faculty/administration members responded to the incident by stoking hysteria and blaming the victim. AMU took away Dr. Siras' job, and would have taken away his dignity had he not shown himself incapable of losing it. Sadly, it seems the maelstrom surrounding the professor did not let him see matters in the same light.
One wonders how long before Dr. Siras' heirs, or someone else (via a PIL), sues AMU. And more generally, AMU needs to learn that it is a "minority institution" -- not an institution that merely presents the pageant of "Muslimness". The two are not the same.
The Indian Express carried a moving account of the circumstances in which Dr. Siras spent his last few days HERE.