Published: 30th August 2021
IITM Prof who quit over caste bias writes to Union, State Education Ministers about his 'harassers'
On July 1, Vipin had submitted his resignation, after sending a strongly worded email addressed to the administration and all the faculty members. He had later revoked it
An IIT Madras faculty member who had resigned alleging caste discrimination has written to K Ponmudi, Tamil Nadu's Higher Education Minister against the new IITM Senate's nominee to the institute's Board of Governors. According to Dr Vipin Veetil, an Assistant Professor of the institute who later retracted his resignation, the IITM Senate on August 25 had appointed VR Muraleedharan as its nominee. Incidentally, Veetil had named Muraleedharan in his complaint to the National Commission of Backward Castes earlier in August.
"He is one of the primary accused in my complaint about caste discrimination. The Senate Representatives on the IIT Board oversee the hiring of new faculty and the promotion of existing Assistant and Associate Professors. The inclusion of Muraleedharan in the Board is likely to interfere with the ongoing investigation which would naturally involve the IIT grievance committee or the NCOBC interviewing various members of the faculty," Vipin says in his letter to Ponmudi. He also asks the minister to ask the representatives of the TN Government in the Board of Governors of IIT Madras to veto the elevation of Muraleedharan to the Board.
"I got to know about this elevation from multiple faculty members of IIT Madras," says Vipin. "This is more like them 'spitting on my face', considering I had complained against him multiple times and an investigation is ongoing," he says.
READ ALSO: If you speak up, it brings down your chances of surviving: Why IIT Madras professor Vipin Veetil called India's top engineering college out for casteism
A few days ago, Vipin had written another letter to the Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan complaining against Dr Jyotirmaya Tripathi, the current head of the institute's Humanities and Social Sciences Department who is apparently liaising between the investigating committee and the faculty members of the Department. Tripathi was also named in Vipin's complaint. The letter also says on May 12, 2020, he had written a letter to all faculty members of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences about his experience with caste discrimination. "In his response to my letter, on 14 May 2020, Tripati wrote 'I am glad that you have mentioned my name, though unsure how the future will unfold'," the letter says. On July 1, Vipin had submitted his resignation, after sending a strongly worded email addressed to the administration and all the faculty members. He had later reacinded it.
We have written to the institute and the professors in question seeking a comment on this issue. This copy will be updated once they respond.