The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has derecognised the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC), a student association, following an anonymous complaint that it was instigating protests against the policies of the Centre and creating “hatred” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hindus.
The members have shot off a letter to the institute’s Director against what they called the “unilateral” and “undemocratic” decision to derecognise the group.
Citing an anonymous complaint allegedly from a section of students, Prisca Mathew, Under Secretary to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, wrote to the IIT-M management on May 15 requesting its comments on the issue.
Mail from Dean
Students said that on May 22, they received a mail from the Dean of Students, Sivakumar M. Srinivasan, communicating that the APSC was being derecognised for “misuse of privileges.”
When contacted, Mr. Srinivasan said the members failed to follow the code of conduct for student bodies that clearly stated that activities should have the Dean’s approval. “The members did not go through me or take my permission for the posters or the activity,” he said, referring to posters mentioned in the unsigned complaint.
A member of the APSC said: “We were not asked any explanation before this mail came. It was only later that we met the Dean, who asked us for an assurance that we will not involve in such activities again,” an APSC member said.
On Thursday evening, the members wrote a detailed response to the Director, Dr. Bhaskar Ramamurthi. “Our organisation is engaged in propagating Ambedkar and Periyar thoughts, in helping depressed castes and the caste Hindus to realise the evil of caste-based discrimination taking place in modern India and expose the ideology functioning behind such discrimination,” said the letter, which did not accept the Dean’s decision.
The complaint had said the APSC was trying to “de-align” Scheduled Caste and Schedule Tribes students to “make them protest against the MHRD and the Central government” and create hatred against the “Prime Minister and Hindus.”