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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

IIT Bombay cautions hostel residents against ‘anti-national activities’

The Dean of Student's Affairs notice, however, does not elaborate on what actually constitutes as "anti-national" activity. 

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 29, 2020 3:50:48 pm
iit bombay, iit bombay caa protests, anti caa protests students institutues, anti national activities IIT Bombay students protesting against the CAA last month (File/Express Photo)

Hostel residents of IIT Bombay have been asked to not “participate in anti-national and anti-social activities”, according to a notice signed by the institute’s Dean of Student Affairs. This comes days after director Dr Subhasis Chaudhuri said the institute doesn’t endorse “political things”.

The Dean of Student’s Affairs notice, however, does not elaborate on what actually constitutes as “anti-national” activity.  On violating the rule, the campus reserves the right to partially or permanently suspend hostel privileges, the notice said.

Last week, IIT-Bombay director Subhasis Chaudhuri reminded students that every inch of IIT-B is funded by the government and is “strictly apolitical,” adding “we do not endorse any political views, either for or against — nothing to do with politics.”

“You are free to write, go outside to exert your opinion but the institute cannot be a part of any political activities, strictly no,” he cautioned the students. “You have the full right to have your opinion. But that’s personal. One cannot assume this as the view of IIT-Bombay. No one has any right to say that IIT-Bombay is for or against this (CAA-NRC-NPR issue). You can write your opinion as an individual.”

Earlier this month, over 200 students and teachers of IIT Bombay came out in protest of violent attacks in JNU. The campus faculty had released a statement condemning the attacks. A group of students from the institute also gathered at the Gateway of India to protest the attack on JNU students, holding candles and placards.

Students, faculty members, staffers and campus residents had also been assembling every evening since January 6 to form human chains and display posters.

Issues like campus violence, problems that one would face if CAA and NRC were implemented, fee hike, institutional discrimination and curbs on dissent were discussed at these gatherings. The protest began in the aftermath of the violence at JNU campus on January 5. Rallies in favour of the amended citizenship law were also held in the campus last month.

With students across the country joining protests against the CAA-NRC-NPR, a German student in the Master’s course in the Department of Physics at IIT Madras, part of a one-year exchange programme, had said last month that he was asked to leave the country “immediately” days after he attended one such protest in the campus.

IIT Kanpur even formed a committee to inquire into a complaint against the recitation of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s noted poem ‘Hum Dekhenge’ on campus by students to express solidarity with their peers at Jamia Millia Islamia. An IIT-K student sang the poem against which a complaint was filed by Dr Vashimant Sharma, a temporary faculty member, and about 16 others, including faculty members and students.

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