Published: 24th May 2020
'How to Become an Intellectual Kshatriya': TISS Students' Union condemns 'casteist' event organised by student group
The event was organised by the Democratic Secular Students' Forum and their guest was Rajiv Malhotra, a researcher, speaker and thinker
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences was at one point of time appreciated for the fellowships, scholarships that were made available to marginalised students and also for their research into social issues like caste discrimination and oppression. All of this slightly changed over the last few years as the campus was rampant with protests demanding funding for marginalised students. Still, when a student group on campus decided to hold a seminar titled 'Five Things The Youth Must Do To Become an Intellectual Kshatriya', it left people surprised.
The event was organised by the Democratic Secular Students' Forum and their guest was Rajiv Malhotra, a researcher, speaker and thinker. Immediately after, the TISS Students Union issued a statement condemning the event, calling it 'blatantly casteist' and 'irrelevant'. " We also condemn the title which is inherently casteist," the Union said in its statement.
Calling the event as an attempt to mock the anti-caste movement, the Union said that the student group has previously also been known to organise such events, "They have organised problematic events in the past too and have invited people with patriarchal, casteist mindsets who have anti-minority stances too at the same events. The seminar openly mocks the strong anti-caste movement on campus," the Union's office bearers said.
Calling the event a 'gross misuse' and violation of the freedom of speech and expression and the Union urged the group to realise that there is a larger social responsibility and that they had overstepped their limit with this latest seminar. "We urge the student community to condemn this attempt to sabotage the anti-caste movement on campus. These events are a threat to secular, democratic spaces on campus and in the country. Resist the saffronisation," the Union urged.
Batta Ram, the President of the Students Union, who is also believed to be the first Dalit student to hold the post, said, "Coming from a Dalit background I think such an event is highly offensive. The group has organised events in the past that have been highly controversial as well, from cries for Ram Mandir to now this - using casteist terms."