The IIT-Madras has banned a Dalit students association following an complaint of criticising Modi government policies.
The association has been complained as they criticised the policies of central government policies and created hatred against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hindus.
The prestigious technical education institute acted after the Union human resource development ministry forwarded the complaint.
The complaint alleged the Ambedkar Periyar Student Circle (APSC) was mobilising scheduled caste and scheduled tribe students against the government’s policy on the use of Hindi and the ban on beef.
The human resource development ministry conducted an inquiry following the complaint, which enclosed one of APSC’s pamphlets reproducing parts of a speech by Dravidian University professor RV Gopal that accused the NDA government of favouring big business and criticised several bills.
The pamphlet also mentioned the ‘ghar wapsi’ programme of right wing groups and the ban on beef in some states. The complaint claimed the APSC was trying to create hatred against the “Prime Minister and Hindus.”
Prisca Mathew, under secretary in the human resource development ministry, wrote to the management of IIT-Madras on May 15 and sought a response on the complaint.
Mathew wrote in her letter: “I am directed to forward herewith a copy of anonymous letter alleging serious complaints received from students, IIT-Madras, along with pamphlet issued by Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle on the above mentioned subject and to request that comments of the institute may please be sent to this ministry at an early date.”
A week later, IIT-Madras dean of students Sivakumar M Srinivasan sent an email on May 22 to coordinators of the APSC that said the group had been “derecognized” for “misuse of privileges”.
Srinivasan told the media that members of APSC failed to follow the code of conduct for student bodies which 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 complaint.
Members of the APSC have dismissed the dean’s allegations that the association was involved in “divisive” activities. They pointed out that the group had not misused any facilities provided by the institute.
They further said that the action by the human resource development ministry and the IIT was based on an anonymous complaint by right-wing groups and that they were denied a chance to explain their position.
The APSC was formed as a discussion forum on April 14, 2014 to promote the teachings of social reformers BR Ambedkar and Periyar EV Ramasamy and had arranged discussions on political, economic and social issues, the members said.
On Thursday, the APSC sent a letter to IIT-Madras director Bhaskar Ramamurthi against the “unilateral” and “undemocratic” decision to ban the association.
“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,” the letter said.