Guru Pasha arrested, charged with sexual harassment and abuse
On 11 May, Guru Syed Salauddin Pasha, director of Ability Unlimited was arrested after two FIRs were filed against him at the Madhu Vihar police station, in East Delhi. A complaint was filed by his wife’s student for sexual harassment. Pasha’s wife, Rani Khanam a national award winning dancer herself, also lodged a separate complaint of domestic violence, attempt to murder and abetment to suicide. The world record holder and national award winning dancer was registered for sections 377 (unnatural offence) and 506 (wrongful confinement) IPC.
The Inquirer team had the opportunity to interact with Guru Pasha and his talented team of dancers when they visited Pondicherry earlier this year. The performances were documented by The Inquirer and an interview was also conducted with the director. The series of performances were well received by the people of Pondicherry. The entire audiences were in awe of the various dances performed by Ability Unlimited.
The arrest of Guru Pasha has raised some uncomfortable questions for all of us. Riding on the high horse of achievement, popularity and success, can one violate another person’s rights and dignity? Pasha who is so talented and dynamic, has over 20? Years taken his organization to all across the globe, and has been an activist for disability rights. The allegations made by his wife and his wife’s student cast a shadow on his aura.
As a teacher and a leader who has stood as a role model for hundreds of children with disabilities over the years, the allegations on Guru Pasha, have brought a frown upon the faces of many of his followers. Pasha has now been marked for his insensitivity towards his wife and women including those with disabilities. Pasha may or may not be guilty, as the decision still awaits, but this whole episode makes us all aware that just talent and entrepreneurship is not all that is needed to succeed in life. The importance of having human values of sensitivity, dignity and respecting women for who they are count to make anyone humane.