Following a complaint that students of Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) made allegedly communal statements during an event held in solidarity with Jamia Millia Islamia, the IIT-K administration on Saturday formed a high-level committee to look into the allegation. The complaint was filed by Dr Vashi Mant Sharma, a professor at IIT-K.
The students were on Tuesday participating in a march on the campus and condemned the police action on Jamia students.
Responding to a tweet with a video of the event, IIT-K director Abhay Karandikar said the institute will not tolerate any indiscipline. In the video, students can be purportedly heard reciting a Faiz Ahmad Faiz poem, which translates to “when all idols will be removed, only Allah’s name will remain”. The poem (nazm), titled Hum Dekhenge, was written in 1979.
“We have received a complaint by our INSPIRE faculty Dr Vashi Mant Sharma regarding a video, and the director has formed a committee to investigate it. When we look into it in detail, we will know what exactly happened. The video is of Tuesday, of a march by students to show solidarity with students of Jamia. During the march, students were making statements which can be called communal,” said Manindra Agarwal, IIT-K deputy director. He said that INSPIRE faculty members have a five-year tenure and are high-performing post-doctorals who can teach at any institute in India.
Based on the report of the committee, action will be taken, said Agarwal. He added that the students involved are either undergraduates or pursuing PhD.
In his tweet, Karandikar said, “The institute never permitted any such protest/ march etc. DD & Dean advised students against such activity… IIT-K system does not tolerate any indiscipline.”
While the video’s sound is of poor quality, the English subtitle reads, “When from Allah’s place, all idols will be removed, when crowns will be tossed and thrones will vanish, only Allah’s name will remain.” One student is seen reading the lines, while around 100 are cheering.
Vox populi, the student media body of IIT-Kanpur, in an article said the matter of a peaceful gathering is being communalised.
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