Published: 21st January 2020
IIT Madras students to wear black in protest against shutting of Krishna Gate
The students have also claimed that the administration is identifying students who are protesting and asking faculties to warn them against it
The students of IIT Madras will be wearing black on Wednesday to protest against the institute's decision to close down Krishna Gate. The students have been on a continuous protest for the last couple of weeks since the administration announced that they would shut down the gate for safety reasons.
The protesting students will wear black throughout the day and then gather at the admin block in the evening. The students have already written to the MHRD and organised marches and demonstrations in the last few days. The women organised a rally as well demanding that the administration take other initiatives to provide security and that closing Krishna Gate was not one of them.
The students are now claiming that the administration is allegedly identifying the research scholars among the protestors and are complaining to their supervisors. "Supervisors are supposed to stop these scholars from protesting. It is not surprising that IITM, which still upholds the age-old feudal values, thinks that the supervisors ‘own’ their students. That the supervisors can coerce students into subjugation or silence," students wrote on an FB page devoted to the cause.
"Even when hundreds of students come for protests, the administration tries to identify the ‘leaders’ of the protest. The question asked is, ‘who is organizing the protest’. Dear administration, understand that all of us protestors are adults, with agency, capable of taking decisions for ourselves. There are no Pied Pipers who are leading us. We participate in the protests, because we are fully aware of, and are aghast at, the complete lack of democracy in this premier institute of the country," they wrote. They also criticise the administration in their statement for not consulting women before taking decisions on behalf of them, "We recognize it is patriarchy that takes decisions on behalf of women, without consulting women. Because the administration always forgets that students are also stakeholders in the institute. So, please stop this game of trying to identify the leaders of protests. Please respect our ability to make decisions as adults." they write on the page.
The administration has maintained that they have closed the gate to make the campus safer for the women students on campus. MPs Tamilachi Thangapandian and Thol Thirumaavalavan have visited the campus as well, while the former had promised to reach out to the MHRD, the latter submitted a letter accusing the decision of being casteist because it blocks access to the Adivasis living in the area. We have reached to IIT Madras administration for a comment and will update this copy with the same.