IIT- Bombay director asks students to express their political views ‘outside of campus’
Weeks after the administration of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) asked it’s employees to act according to it’s code of conduct and not make statements that may be construed as criticism against the central government, the director of the institute reiterated this statement in an open house with students on Wednesday.
The director, Subhasis Chaudhuri asked students to express their own political views outside of the campus, and never make a statement using the name of the institute.
“The director was invited to the open house as most students attend the open house and this would have been a good opportunity to interact with the institute head about the ongoing protests,” said one of the students.
Students said that the director made it clear that IIT Bombay is a government funded Institute and an institute of eminence, with the primary purpose of producing high quality engineering graduates and research that could be of help to the society at large. “He (director) said that we can express our opinions, especially political ones, outside the campus as individuals without using IIT Bombay’s name,” said a student.
While the Institute has not taken any action against staff or students participating in protests ever since violence erupted on the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), a circular was released on January 9 quoting the service conditions and conduct rules under the IIT Act. It asked staff and employees to refrain from making public statements that could “embarrass the relations” of the institute with the central government.
Since January 6, staff and students of IIT-B have participated in protest marches and discussions everyday on campus. For the past few days, students have also been organising a preamble lecture series outside their hostel, inviting speakers to explain the Constitution and preamble of the country to all those interested.
When asked about his statement at the open house, director Chaudhuri said the open house is an internal matter of the institute and not meant for public consumption. IITB further refused to release any statement on the issue.