The K.R. Narayanan National Institute of Visual Science and Arts, an institute under the Government of Kerala, has been on the boil once again with students on Monday launching an indefinite strike demanding resignation of the institute’s director for alleged caste discrimination.
In a statement, the students have accused Shankar Mohan of meting out inhumane treatment towards students and staff and discriminating against them on the basis of caste. Among other allegations against Mr. Mohan include forcing sanitation workers to do domestic labour at his official residence and denying admission to a Dalit student.
“While admitting the new batch this year, the director discriminated against a Dalit student by denying him admission in the editing department even as four seats were lying vacant. He also carried out appointments to the key posts including that of the Dean, production controller and art director without any notification,” said a member of the student council here.
According to the member, Mr. Mohan took the lead in shortening three-year courses offered by the institute into two-year programmes without due consultations and research. “This experiment was once tried out at the FTII, Pune, too but without success,” he added.
Earlier this year, the students protested against Mr. Mohan for expelling four students from their respective courses, citing a shortage of attendance. The issue was resolved during a meeting convened by the Higher Education Minister R. Bindu, who directed the institute to take back the students unconditionally.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mohan was not available for comments despite multiple attempts to contact him.