CHENNAI: There are close to 100 students organisations, including 10 independent bodies, in the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M), the highest number among IITs.
This is one of the factors that triggered repeated troubles inside the campus, charged Kaustubha Mohanty, convenor of All-IITs Placement Committee (AIPC).
“No other IIT has so many student organisations and independent bodies in campus. I don’t understand why the administration has allowed them to form so many groups. There are no such problems in other IITs. In the name of freedom of expression, educational institutions should not become battleground for political mudslinging. The IIT-M turmoil is setting a bad precedent for other IITs,” Mohanty told Express. Mohanty, from IIT Kharagpur, the biggest among IIT with the highest student enrolment, pointed out how there has not been any such incident there.
“They have an official Technology Students’ Gymkhana for which students’ elections are conducted. That apart, there are multiple cultural clubs of people coming from different States who congregate and celebrate their regional festivals etc. Yes, some IITs do have student organisations harbouring majoritarian ideologies, but they don’t resort to physical assault or create ruckus in the campuses,” he said.
He wondered why IIT-M administration is silent. “I feel the administration should have acted immediately after the alleged fight between two students happened (over the issue of ban on selling cattle for slaughter). Discipline on the campus can’t be compromised under any circumstance. Now, the situation has gone totally out of control. Political outfits have hijacked the issue and inciting students for their own vested interests,” he said.
The neutral students, now away on vacation, charged the outfits with imposing their ideologies. “We don’t want Ambedkar - Periyar Study Circle or groups like Vivekananda Study Circle, RSS Shakha, Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Vande Matram, Dhruva etc. They can carry on with their activities outside the campus. In July, hundreds of new students will come to campus with high ambitions. They should not be affected,” said a third-year civil engineering student.