Published: 18th February 2020
IIMC students start hunger strike on campus after standoff with administration over suspensions
A week back, 11 students of the institute who conducted a talk on affordable media education were suspended — and now the suspension has been extended, leading to the current strike on campus
Students of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication began a hunger strike on February 18, demanding that the administration issue a new committee report about the fee structure and revoke the suspension of 11 of its students. The protesting students who are currently sitting down in front of the institute's administration block, said that they won't call off the strike unless the institute accedes to their demands.
A week ago, 11 students were suspended from the institute for 'violating the code of conduct' and were asked to show cause for the same within five days. On February 8, these students had conducted a public talk on affordable media education. The administration, at that time, told us that the students did not have permission to conduct that event on that particular day. The students now say that the duration of their suspension has been increased. "All 11 of us collectively wrote a letter to the administration asking what code of conduct we violated. We were told that the administration had constituted a committee to examine this. However, we never got an explanation and our suspension has now been extended," says Hrishikesh Sharma, a student.
The continued problem has led to a breakdown in communication, "We will continue to strike until they issue a new circular about the fee structure, quash the old one and revoke our suspension. We will not pay the fees either," adds Hrishikesh. He also alleged that the administration is spreading a lot of misinformation about the students' activities.
The administration has clarified their stand on this issue thus: "An email dated February 8, 2020 addressed to the IIMC administration on ‘behalf of IIMC students’ by a student of the Radio & Television Class, informing their intent to organise a public talk-cum-protest against the proposed IIMC Alumni Meet scheduled for Sunday, February 9, was sent. The administration immediately responded to that, requesting the students to reschedule their event to a later date/time, since the holding of the talk at same time as the Alumni meet would have led to an unwanted/unpleasant situation," reads a post on IIMC's Facebook wall.
However, Hrishikesh says, "It was not a protest and we only wanted to conduct a public talk. Then why will they call it a protest?" The institute's response also condemned the students' response to suspension. It reads, "It is disheartening that some suspended students are spreading false and malicious information through social media, abusing administration and faculty of highhandedness."
You can read the entire response here: