Published: 01st May 2021
#EndCasteismInIIT: IIT-B students amplify voices against casteism on campus, calls for videos, statements on social media
This call comes after the recent incident at IIT Kharagpur where a professor was seen on video making casteist remarks during an online class
The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), a students' organisation at the Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay) put out an open call on social media on Friday for people, who have been a victim of caste discrimination or even observed such acts on educational campuses to put out written statements, videos, voice notes in solidarity with the movement to end casteism in IITs. This call comes after the recent incident at IIT Kharagpur where a professor was seen on video making casteist remarks during an online class.
A video of lectures by the said professor, where she was seen abusing her students verbally, has been circulated widely on social media. An Associate Professor from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, she was handling the IIT Preparatory Course for SC/ST and PwD Candidates.
An APPSC member, requesting anonymity, told Edex, "The idea was to prove or reiterate the fact that the case of the IIT KGP professor is not a one of event, but is something that has been happening across campuses in a massive scale. It's in a way an individual problem as well as a structural problem. There are certain issues with how the institutions have been structured, we need reforms to change that. Our demands have already been put forward after this particular incident took place."
In a statement put out by the APPSC recently, they put forward several demands to solve the larger problem of casteism prevalent on campuses across the country.
"We believe that the breaking of the caste ceilings at IITs and other similar institutions require systematic changes. In this light, we demand the following:
-Immediate termination of the casteist and authoritarian Professor
-That she be booked under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
-That the students be protected and passed without any coercive action by the administration for exposing the casteism in the institute
-Set up a permanent SC, ST, and OBC Cell at IIT Kharagpur and all other IITs. This Cell should act as an anti-caste discrimination cell, take strict actions against casual and structural casteism and work towards sensitising the campus about casual and structural forms of discrimination. The cell should have faculties from minorities and representatives from SC/ST/OBC. They should also have the power to monitor if all admission and faculty recruitments follow reservation guidelines," their statement read.
Since the incident took place, the institute and the professor have received massive criticism and there have been rising demands for her termination. Recently, over 1,000 alumni of various IITs across the country wrote to the director of IIT Kharagpur, asking him to immediately terminate her and also asked the professor to issue an unconditional apology for her behaviour during the lecture.