IIMB ideology war: Citizens counter Professors’ letter on hate speech
Retired officers, defence veterans claim the open letter will lead to social anarchy
BENGALURU: In a war of words, a letter written by 17 professors from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM-B) on August 8, on misinformation and hate speech, found a counter in another letter on Friday, written by 23 citizens to the IIM-B chairman, condemning the former group’s “ideological bias and bankrupt mindset”.
The group of 17 faculty members, including six retired persons, had addressed an open letter to Corporate India, appealing to them to “de-fund the spread of misinformation and hate speech” through news channels and social media.
The second group of citizens are retired IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS officers and Defence services veterans residing in Karnataka. The group also accused the institution and its faculty members of misusing their autonomy, and claimed “it will lead to anarchy and social instability”.
The recent letter read that silence from citizens will trigger similar activities, and statements from “chest-thumping and rabble-rousing, so-called academicians, that will damage, irreparably, the credibility and reputation of IIM-B”, and discredit the atmosphere in Karnataka.
The letter is signed by several former civil servants, such as K Sreedhar Rao, former chief secretary, Govt of Sikkim, and former security adviser, Government of India, SL Gangadharappa, former principal secretary, Government of Karnataka (GOK), M Madan Gopal, former Additional Chief Secretary (GOK) and several others. The group dismissed the first group’s claims of “increasing risk of violent conflicts”, “hatred towards minorities”, “genocide”, “annihilation of social fabric” and “silence of authorities”.
“The so-called “hollow fears of the signatories” is nothing but a figment of the imagination and reflects their diabolical agenda to weaken the resolve of the people and forces, who are toiling day and night to fulfil the dream and goals of Amrit Kaal,” read the letter, addressed to Devi Prasad Shetty, chairman, IIM-B, central minister for education, Dharmendra Pradhan and Sanjay Murthy, secretary, higher education.
The open letter written by Indian academics had sought accountability and responsibility from corporates.
The letter had cited 15 media reports from various national and international outlets to support its argument of increased risk of violent conflicts in the country.
The opposing group said, “We are confident that Corporate India is fully aware of ground realities and will not be carried away by the uninvited advice of armchair academicians who are living in self-imposed ignorance.”