IIT-Madras derecognises 'anti-Modi' students' group

Published on May 29, 2015 13:43:43 PM

Criticising the Modi government seems to have proved costly for a students' study group in Chennai.

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has taken action against the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle on the basis of an anonymous complaint to the Centre that the group was attempting to "spread hatred" against Prime Minister Narendra Modi by giving out pamphlets instigating hatred against him and also by pasting posters in the campus.

The union Human Resource Development Ministry referred, in a letter addressed to the IIT-Madras director on May 15, of an "anonymous letter alleging serious complaints received from students." The letter, which did not have name of any particular individual, is said to have been signed "Students, IIT Madras." The "evidence" - a pamphlet of the group containing a speech by academician R Vivekananda Gopal criticising the Modi government, was also enclosed along with the letter.

A week after receiving the letter, IIT-Madras dean Sivakumar M Srinivasan sent an email to coordinators of the circle stating that the group had been "derecognized" for “misuse of privileges.”

Speaking to media, Srinivasan stated that members of the group failed to follow the code of conduct for student bodies, which required their activities to have the dean’s approval. “The members did not go through me or take my permission for the posters or the activity,” he stated.

However, denying of harbouring any negative intensions, a member of the study circle has stated that it has not violated the constitution and the constitution has allowed criticism of the government and its policies. “The IIT administration is trying to stifle democratic forces,” the member said.