Freedom from Sec 377 opens up a Pandora’s box

While many are celebrating the judgment against Section 377, an ex-employee of Tech Mahindra, Gaurav Pramanik, took this opportunity to call out against workplace harassment.

Ex-Employee of Tech Mahindra alleges workplace harassment.

After witnessing heavy rains in few parts of India and the big sunny smiles on the faces of people from the LGBTQ community, it’s about time that we see rainbow arching not only in the sky but also floating with the wave of a crowd that is celebrating the cancellation of Section 377 in the Indian Penal Code.

Many brands in India have used subtle and quirky marketing skills to congratulate the LGBTQ clan. Never before, have we witnessed such unanimous action taken for a cause in the business industry.

This judgment has also given a chance to people of the LGBTQ community to be bold and vocal about their choices. Gaurav Pramanik, an ex-employee of the training department at Tech Mahindra, is one such voice. Talking to founderINDIA, Pramanik narrated his disparaging experience while working with the IT firm.

He, in his recent tweets, inveighed Richa Gautam, the Global Head of the Training Department for stigmatizing his homophilic nature. Pramanik said, “She used to pass a lot of judgments and jokes on me. I am vocal about being gay. Even though I am not effeminate, she used to tease me for being one. This started growing a lot and pushed me to the point that I had to quit my job.”

Ironically, Mrs. Gautam is the Chief Diversity and Inclusivity officer of the Tech Mahindra group and has been associated with the group for the last 11 years. Pramanik has also accused her of discrimination against employees from minority groups. This is not the first time that someone has complained about her. Negative comments about Gautam’s conduct at the workplace also surface in many job review sites by other ex-employees. We reached out to Gautam to know about her stance on the issue, but there has been no response to our mail. This report will be updated if she replies to us or comments on the allegations on any social media platform.

Pramanik further added, “What this experience taught me was to not be vocal about my sexuality. The incident impacted me a lot and it put me in the closet. My psychology changed and I started thinking that I probably shouldn’t be the way I am – which was wrong!”

Thankfully, the cancellation of section 377 has finally given a chance to people like Pramanik to express the pain, narrate their horror stories, and open the Pandora’s box of mistreatments at the workplace.

Meanwhile, Tech Mahindra responded to Gaurav’s tweet and has promised to look into the matter. More so, chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand Mahindra and Tech Mahindra’s MD and CEO CP Gurnani have also shared tweets and assured Pramanik of a thorough investigation and necessary action on the issue.

Promising an investigation on the allegations made won’t be enough. The multinational company should also bring in transformational change by appointing people who justify their designation. If further actions are not taken, the company would be acting against its policies that claim inclusivity and diversity at the workplace.

As for the society at large, no such change is expected soon because it would be impossible without uprooting the ingrained mindsets of the Indian diaspora.

For now, we can only point out the wrong done by way of such stories and spread the message of love.

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