The IIT controversy garnered a lot of response on Twitter and other social media platforms. Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani spoke to a news agency about the whole controversy. Check out what she had to say about it.
- “I’m of the opinion that Constitution & Parliament gave IIT Madras the right to administer itself autonomously.”
- It also gave right to students’ council which is comprising of democratically elected students’ representatives to decide what are rules, regulations & guidelines under which student activity student organization shall function within IIT Madras campus. Now, in no way does that reflect on interference by HRD.”
- “Autonomy of an institution cant be selective,you have to be equidistant from it, you have to let an instituion take its own decision”
- “Is an institution’s autonomy to be crushed just because Rahul Gandhi doesn’t see eye to eye with proposal of institution?”
- Is voice of Student Council which determines rules & regulations to be crushed, because Rahul Gandhi sees a political motive behind it?
WHAT HAPPENED EARLIER?
The Indian Institute of Technology- Madras had banned a student forum for, allegedly, trying to spread critical statements against PM Narendra Modi and his government’s policies, as suggested by reports.
As reported by The Times of India, the decision followed after the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) made an inquiry regarding an anonymous complaint stating that one of Ambedkar Periyar Student Circle’s (APSC) pamphlets were reproducing a speech on the IIT campus which criticized the Modi government and its policies.
A week after the complaint, the IIT Dean for students, Sivakumar M Srinivasan, ‘derecognized’ the APSC and informed the group’s coordinators about the same via email.
Ramesh, a student of APSC body told ANI, “There’s no explanation in mail why the authorities de-recognised the body. We explained we have constitutiional right to discuss and whatever we discuss is according to the Constitution.” Ramesh further added that other religious groups are allowed to propagate but when it comes to Ambedkar group, the authorities stop them.
With regard to the ideologies of the group, Akhil, another member of APSC said, “Dean lies. Last time he said even for birthday party you should take permission, but then he denied. (He) said Ambedkar’s name is too radical.”
Another agitated student responded by saying, “Rational thought is being demolished, only superstition and pseudo science are being allowed. (We) were told that we were de-recognized, and the dean said we cant hurt feelings of masses.”
K Ramamurthy, Academic Incharge IIT Madras defended the decision by saying, “IIT Madras does not curtail freedom of expression, the guidelines were agreed to by all student bodies. This group did not work according to the guidelines issued by the represented body.” He added,” (The) dean asked group to present their stand. When Board of students meet, the group will be given chance to do so. Right now vacation period is on, when they come back, then student bodies and administration will meet & discussions will be held.”
In response to the authorities’ decision, Justice Markanday Katju posed a question about people’s right to criticize their government or political leaders in a democracy, in a tweet. He further tweeted.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also took to Twitter to criticize the action against the students. He tweeted