Astonishing, undemocratic and unconstitutional are mild words to describe the ban by HRD Ministry via administration of IIT Madras on the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle being run by 20 of the students. This apparently followed an anonymous complaint to the HRD Ministry about this group ‘spreading hatred’ against the current Prime Minister and Hindus. The HRD Ministry which instructed the IIT Administration to take action is now trying to wash its hands off the matter by citing the ‘autonomy’ of the IIT.
What sort of ‘hatred’ spread was on? The student group regularly holds discussions on the issues before the country and its people. They invite experts on various fields to conduct these discussions. They have apparently been discussing the labour law changes being effected by Modi Govt. against working class of India, the several anti-peasant land ordinances, communalism and such issues affecting the country and its common people. During such a discussion, the speaker stated that the Modi Govt. was selling the country to corporate and dividing the people on communal lines. Is this ‘spreading hatred’ or exercising the right to criticize an anti-people Govt.’s policies and exposing its intentions? Is condemning ghar wapsi, anti-minority venom, love jihad as RSS brand of Hindutva ‘spreading hatred’? Is the Modi Govt. above criticism or exposure? Do people of India compulsorily have to agree to the policies of service to corporate? Do all Hindus also have to prescribe to the RSS brand and interpretation of this religion?
The reality is, they don’t have to and neither do they do so. This is the real source of worry for the Modi Govt. and its RSS mentor. The glitter in which the corporate wrapped the Modi Govt. is fast peeling off. People have begun to see that the slogan of Development is not meant for the common people.
Students of the country have a right-rather the old fashioned word ‘duty’ is even more appropriate’- to worry about what is happening to the country, where the policies of rulers are taking it and the people, to debate them and also to oppose them. It is this right that RSS and the Modi Govt. is terrified about that more and more people of India have begun to see whom the Govt. policies are serving. Curbing the right to dissent is the logical next step of such an anti-people ruling dispensation.
The RSS has been running shakas in educational institutions for decades. With the advent of Modi Govt. it has launched its Hindutva agenda with full-fledged state backing. Patriarchal gambits like bahu beti izzat against women of upper castes, durga vahinis to keep them within lakshman rekhas drawn by patriarchal thinking, imposition of myths on scientific institutions in the name of ‘indianization’ stating that dalits represent the feet of Hinduism and many more. Its propaganda groups are mushrooming in educational institutions and these are addressed by senior RSS leaders many of them functionaries of the Modi Govt. This fascist trend of allowing only one thought to prevail, one glorified leader who is above criticism must be fought back and must be opposed. This fascist attack is part of the offensive of Modi Govt. against people of the country and must be repelled.
All sections of people of India, all democrats including students must speak up against this ban on the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle. Withdraw the ban, no to thought control. The democratic rights of the people including students to scrutinize the policies of rulers from the viewpoint to the people must be upheld.