Dr. Lekshmi Nair who stepped down as Principal of the Kerala Law Academy on Tuesday, has now been in the hot seat for the past three weeks and counting.
Unprecedented student protests still continue in Thiruvananthapuram, demanding her complete ouster. Amidst accusations of harassment, oppression and favouritism, the TV celebrity-chef had earlier refused to resign, claiming that she has done nothing wrong.
Predictably, Lekshmi came under fire even on social media for her insistence on staying put in her seat, despite the massive outcry against her.
Protesters had been unwilling to accept anything less than her resignation but on Tuesday, the Students Federation of India (SFI) had come out with a curious official statement that said Lekshmi needn't resign, but could step away for five years.
Following this, Madhyamam -a popular regional newspaper in Kerala- published a cartoon of Lekshmi with donkey-ears, with the accompanying text that talks about how a raging, insane animal (referring to Lekshmi) was brought under control (thalachu in Malayalam).
Even though Lekshmi has obviously fallen out of public favour, several have come forward to condemn the cartoon for its needless degradation of the protagonist.
Sabarinathan -the Aruvikkara Congress MLA who has been part of the protests- said, "Lekshmi Nair's acts at the Law Academy are unforgivable, but Madhyamam's cartoon too is condemnable and against women. The newspaper should apologise."
Anupama Venkitesh, a journalist from Kerala wrote on Facebook: "All the good work that many others have done here also gets maligned by such an act."