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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Uproar over singer’s ‘sexist’ slurs at IIT-B

Palash Sen made the comments during concert at Mood Indigo.

Written by Dipti Sonawala | Mumbai | Published: December 24, 2013 2:03:58 am

Euphoria’s lead singer Palash Sen has run into trouble over his allegedly sexist and misogynistic remarks during Mood Indigo,IIT Bombay’s annual cultural fest,recently. Even as IITians expressed anger over the comments on social media sites,Mood Indigo organisers tendered an apology about the incident.

Sen allegedly made the comments during the band’s concert on Saturday. While some students took them as humour,several others were offended. The matter escalated after a blog post by Arpita Phukan Biswas,a researcher in the field of caste and gender at IIT Bombay,went viral.

Biswas,who was at the concert,wrote in her blog: “His (Palash Sen’s) slew of sexist barrage began with seemingly the most pressing concern of IIT boys on campus — do boys have enough good-looking girls to look at and hit on? So he asked,‘Are there good-looking girls in IIT-B?’ Men,both from and outside IIT-B,raised their hands in solidarity to signal no. So he asked again,‘Are there good-looking girls in IIT-B?’ The hands were raised again… He went on adding: ‘Don’t worry guys,you will find the best looking women when you leave this campus. Aur woh tumhaare liye roti belengi (and they will make rotis for you). Women are for beauty,men are for intelligence. You have to agree that men are more intelligent than women,don’t you?’ The crowd went hysterical at this point.”

“Not just me,but many girls and boys also did not like how he made misogynistic comments,many of which I have not mentioned in my blog,” said Biswas.

Biswas took up the matter with the Mood Indigo team,who assured her that it was in ‘good humour’. The organisers posted an apology on the official Facebook page,which states: “We strongly condemn the remarks of Palash Sen at the concert yesterday. We apologize on our part for the band’s remarks. The organizing committee is in the process of deciding further action in the matter.”

“My seniors took up the matter with the band’s management. Towards the end of the concert,Sen came on stage and said that his comments had offended some girls in the crowd and then he dedicated a song to all women.”

However,another girl student of IIT-B quoted Sen in her blog: “Some students took offence to what I said. I apologise for that. It was meant to be humour… all my songs are based on women. And,they said I was being sexist but I actually consider it to be sexy.”

A media co-ordinator from IIT-B said,“The comments were in good humour. The festival got over on Monday. We will discuss the matter and decide the course of action.”

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