CHENNAI: A French national pursuing a post-graduate degree in politics and public administration at the University of Madras staged a sit-in protest outside the department head’s cabin on Monday, claiming that he was failed by a faculty who admonished him for wearing a ‘dhoti’ to class.
Jonas Anton Pulendrasa, a native of France, was also in the news after university staff allegedly manhandled him for questioning a top bureaucrat during a seminar on Chennai floods held on the varsity premises on December 14.
“I tried to adopt the Tamil culture and started wearing a dhoti to class,” Jonas told Express. This did not go down well with the guest faculty, Meera Ganguly, who, during one of her classes, allegedly insulted Jonas in front of the classmates for dressing ‘inappropriately’.
The issue was sorted after the HoD intervened and Jonas was allowed to attend classes in the Tamil traditional outfit. “But, this had changed the teacher’s behaviour towards me,” he said.
Much to his chagrin, Jonas failed in the subject taught by Meera Ganguly, Theories of International Relations, though he had taken up semester exams and attended most classes.
When approached, the faculty informed him that he had failed in the second internal examination. Despite the university norms saying that a student would not be allowed to take semester exams in case of failure in internal exams, Jonas was allowed to sit for semester exams and was marked ‘failed’ citing his internals. The French national said that after these two incidents, he was targeted even by other university staff and he was not allowed to get trained in ‘soft skills’, while other students were allowed.
University authorities were unavailable for comment.