In a move that raised eyebrows and went against the freedom of speech, IIT-Madras has decided to ban a discussion forum for students after an anonymous complaint that said the forum was spreading “hatred” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi by grouping together SC/ST students and questioning the Centre’s policies on the issue of Hindi imposition and cow slaughter ban.
In an inquiry on the anonymous complaint it had received, the HRD ministry had found that one Ambedkar Periyar Student Circle (APSC) on the IIT campus had even distributed pamphlets that criticised the policies of the Modi government.
Following this, the under secretary Prisca Mathew in a letter to IIT director on May 15 asked him to send the comments of the institute on the activities of APSC group as the Centre had received serious complaints from students on the anti-government activities of this said group.
IIT dean (students) Sivakumar M. Srinivasan sent a brief e-mail to APSC coordinators stating that this forum has been derecognised. Now the APSC members are pointing that the IIT’s move to ban their activities was the result of handiwork of right wing groups and they were even denied a basic hearing before banning the forum.
“Our study circle has been banned unilaterally without giving us a fair hearing and an opportunity to represent ourselves. In our interaction with the dean of students, we have been told that our study circle engaged in “controversial activities” and violated the code of conduct of independent student bodies. We are clear in our stand that we have not misused any privileges given by the institute,” said a APSC member seeking anonymity.