IIT-M body bats for pamphlet ban in anti-APSC war

APSC was in the news last year when its recognition was abruptly cancelled by the administration and subsequently restored after national uproar.

Published: 16th October 2016 02:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th October 2016 02:37 AM   |  A+A-


IIT Madras | File Photo

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The student-led internal law-making body of the IIT-Madras has recommended banning distribution of pamphlets inside the campus after intense debate over campaigns by the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) in the premium institution.

It is learnt that the decision was taken at a heated meeting of the Student Legislative Council on Thursday over recent campaigns by the APSC on celebrations of Ravana Leela, a counter by Dravidian movements to Ram Leela. Objections were also raised to the campaigns, including pamphlet distribution, against the Union government’s proposed education policy.

APSC was in the news last year when its recognition was abruptly cancelled by the administration and subsequently restored after national uproar. As friction between APSC and other student groups grew in the last few months, reliable sources in IIT-M said a committee was formed comprising senior teaching staff to resolve the issues. The committee met on Wednesday and decided to leave the decision on the issue to the student-led legislative council.

The council meet witnessed heated arguments between sections of students over the campaigns by APSC on the campus. Finally, the meeting chaired by Venkatraman, general secretary, decided to recommend a ban on distribution of pamphlets of any nature in the campus.

However, APSC, in a Facebook post on Saturday, alleged that the general secretary had failed to control students who made strong casteist comments at the meeting and remained a mute spectator.

“When one of the students started speaking in Hindi, the  APSC opposed it, but were advised to have translators,” a student who attended the meeting told Express. A student from another group has also filed a complaint with the administration about threats made to him over the issue.

As per IIT-M rules, a final decision on the recommendation would  be taken by the administration. It is learnt that the student council has also recommended restrictions on people from outside delivering talks in the campus.However, the teaching faculty and administrative staff have backed the decision on banning pamphlets for an altogether different reason of ecological concerns.

“We had requested the entire community - all student bodies and individuals - not to distribute pamphlets as it litters the entire place after the event,” M S Sivakumar, Dean (Students), IIT M, said.

He also said there is a risk of animals (the campus is home to wild animals like deer) feeding on the papers and most of the student associations have agreed to it.

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