Though sexual topics have been favourite of hormone-abundant students, the teachers have always been shy of even saying the word sex, what to talk about discussing that, leading to banning of many topics and books. And sex including sexuality, fortunately and unfortunately, is an integral part of humankind and nature. So for a university to justify its name of talking everything related with universe should have been open about it for ages, but sadly that is not the case. It is not that only minors who are kept away from such ‘corrupting’ ideas, but also a major who may be in mid-twenties who may not be given access to such things, even for educational purposes.
In today’s age where a student can get any information they need, just a click away, it is unimaginable that anybody will still have problem in research in areas dealing with sexuality. But sadly that is what is happening in Panjab university where in English department a row has kicked up after a student proposed title of the research study as “Transgressive depiction of sexuality onscreen, a study of selected films of Catherine Breillat and Pedro Almo Dovar.”
Those who are unaware about the Catherine Breillat, she is a famous French novelist and filmmaker whose films, like her novels, have focused on sexuality and violence, and not in some euphemised manner but in hard terms. Similar is Pedro Almo Dovar, who is an award-winning Spanish director, whose films have been equally controversial for his picking up issues like homosexuality, violence, sexual identities, etc.
The Research Degree Committee tried to objectively discuss the issue, but having such topics is not easily digestible to every member, especially when one has been bought up with the notion that sex is immoral and anything discussing or relating with it is too (though it makes everything immoral and consequently moral, but that is another issue).
Few of the teachers though supported the idea, but their voice has only stopped the topic being scrapped. Still other members have to give their support, answering their mentor role, before the student can start working on the topic; though all have said, directly or indirectly, that they will be more than happy if the student changes the topic.
In all this student should be praised who found a genuine topic which justifies having research done on it and which won’t be available to be copied from internet or previous scholars, as is the present norms in the circle.