IIT-M Responds: Student Body Not Banned, Only 'Temporarily De-recognised'
CHENNAI: The furore over the action taken on the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) at the IIT-Madras reached the national capital on Friday, even as the institute clarified that it was not a ban but only a temporary de-recognition.
The action against the APSC by IIT-Madras was the most hotly debated topic in the social media right from the morning, soon joined by parties including the Congress, Left, AAP as well as the regional parties and outfits in Tamil Nadu. The controversy also brought NSUI members outside the residence of Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani in Delhi, eventually prompting the ruling BJP to counter the allegations.
Meanwhile, in Chennai, IIT-M clarified that the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle has only been temporarily de-recognised. Maintaining that it does not curtail freedom of expression of students, the institute said it expected student groups to adhere to guidelines while organising such activities.
"As per the guidelines in force, the student bodies are not allowed to use the institute's name or any of its official entities in any capacity, to publicise their activities or garner support, without official approval. This group has violated these guidelines while conducting their meeting," added the statement, noting that such violations would normally attract derecognition.
They would be given a chance to explain their stand to the Board of Students as per procedure, the statement added.
After being hauled over coal for most part of the day, the HRD Ministry, too, issued a statement distancing itself from the action taken by the institute. "The action has been taken by IIT-Madras as per the guidelines of the institute. Ministry of Human Resource Development had nothing to do with this except for forwarding the complaint received to the director, for comments. IIT-Madras has taken action as per their own procedure and Institute's guidelines," read the statement issued by the Ministry on Friday evening.
As the heat over the issue increased during the day, ruling BJP, too, jumped into the fray, charging Congress of playing low-level politics on the issue for political gains.
"Congress party is frustrated after its repeated defeats and is unable to digest the achievements of the Narendra Modi government in the last one year. That is why it is doing such low-level politics. Congress has a pattern of creating disorder wherever there is order," BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma told the media in Delhi.
Alleging that the Congress was trying to divide students on the basis of religion and caste, Sharma warned the Opposition party not to play politics with students as they are the future of the country.
The CPM and CPI, too, condemned the move in strong words, demanding restoration of recognition to the study circle. While CPI leader D Raja termed the action "atrocious and highly condemnable", the CPM said in a statement that this was yet another "ferocious attacks on freedom of expression, alternative views and democracy" that has been going on in the country ever since the new government came to power.