DEHRADUN: In an act of apathy, a professor from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee in Uttarakhand called a student 'soft' and 'not at that mental level' after he was not able to attend classes following his father's death.
Professor Patit Kundu from the department of chemical engineering wrote in the mail, "On my personal account I can tell that after the expiry of my father I had to go to South Korea and I had gone there. Maybe you are still not at that mental level and you are soft. That's the reason you have done all these wrong things which is creating a bad name for our institute."
The mail was written by Professor addressing the students after a video of online class was uploaded on YouTube in which he can be heard saying, "Will he not attend classes if his father is dead? He is at his home only. He has to attend the classes on the computer only then why he is not able to attend," says the professor in the video.
He also cited the example of Indian cricketer Mohammed Siraj whose father passed away while he is still on Australia tour with the Indian cricket team. The cricketer's father passed away on November 20.
Despite student's batchmates trying to convince the teacher, he further said that the student in question must attend classes.
The professor when informed by the students that the Institute Academic Programme Committee (IAPC) of the institution has decided that marks for the attendance will not be counted for ongoing session due to Covid 19 pandemic said that the IAPC cannot 'dictate' him to teach.
After video/audio recording was leaked online, the teacher wrote a mail saying he never intended any wrong.
His mail stated, "Instead of doing all these (recording and making it viral through your friends), you could have simply mailed me after the class to apologize to Vedanta for not showing apathy (I have shown it; that is even evident when I told all students will be allowed to sit for exam; additional comment was that he has to pass the exam)."
He further states in his mail that in his 24-years of career he has worked hard to teach so that no student shall fail.
"It seems that all of you misjudged me (consult your senior again to judge me). I believe in duty whatever the consequences are. That's why I was taking the example of Siraj (the cricketer), " he says in the mail.
He further 'requests' students to upload another video starting that he has tendered an 'Unconditional Apology' and that the students have 'misjudged' him. He concludes his mail instructing the students that they must mention that 'there is no issue with him'.
His resume on the official website of the institution describes his illustrious career as have worked in various institutions including the University of Calcutta, filed 148 research papers, handled important projects of central government along with many others.
Responding to the queries related to the matter Professor Kundu told The New Indian Express, "I only intend well to all my students as an ardent believer of 'Guru-Shishya' (Teacher-Pupil) tradition of the country. There is no tussle between students and me.
Commenting on the issue, Sonika Srivastava, media Cell of the institute said, "The Students' Ombudsperson has been asked to submit a report on the incident."