IIT's Dean of Students denied any bias against APSC

Outsiders barred from Ambedkar Jayanti event at IIT-M APSC says they are being suffocated
news Student Politics Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 07:52

In yet another controversy at IIT Madras, students of the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle have alleged that the IIT management did not allow outsiders to participate in an event commemorating the 125th Anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar on April 14, and were applying that rule selectively to target the student group.

Calling the move “prejudiced and discriminatory”, the APSC claimed that such restrictions were not put on other events in the campus.

Professor Ram Punyani was to deliver a speech on "Liberating Ambedkar’s ideology from the religious nationalism” at the IC & SR auditorium inside IIT Madras on April 14.

“We had got the required approval from the IIT management for this event with some conditions likes not to issue flyers since it is “menace to habitat”. On 14th, shortly before the seminar could begin, the security personnel of around 7 who were at the entrance of the auditorium, refused to allow people who didn't have an IIT identity card as per order of Dean of student. Due to this many aspirants of Dr. Ambedkar who came in to hear Prof. Ram Punyani's speech were not able to attend the meeting and they were sent back with disappointment,” said the APSC.

The IIT management says that not allowing outsiders is an old rule. But APSC claims this rule is being applied selectively.

“Recently in January, members of Vande Matram group organized a lecture on “critiquing contemporary Indology studies” by Rajiv Malhotra also took place with many outsiders, there was not a single “operating procedure” applied with them. It is only for us that management is showing this discrimination blatantly with no second thought,” said the APSC, “Once again it has proved that the Institute is not operating for the cause of common people rather for corporate and Hindutva.”

Speaking to The News Minute, IIT-M’s Dean of Students flatly denied any such discrimination.

“We have a standard rule. For technical conferences, it is different procedure. For any student event, outsiders are not allowed unless they have specific permission for that. In the past if any such event has happened where outsiders have attended, it has happened without our knowledge,” said Sivakumar M Srinivasan, the Dean of Students.

When asked if such a rule was being selectively applied only to curb the activities of the APSC, Sivakumar asked, “Why would I do that? That is totally incorrect, we are just following the rule.”

On April 14 however, the speech was delivered by Punyani outside of IC&SR auditorium. “Many of IIT students and outside members welcomed our move of conducting the speech outside the auditorium,” said APSC.


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