Skip to main content

Sanskrit imposition meant to spread Brahminical order: Decognized anti-Modi Ambedkar-Pariyar group hits back

By Our Representative
The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IITM) authorities’ decision to “derecognize” the Ambedkar Periyar Student Circle (APSC) following an inquiry into APSC’s “controversial” views by the Union ministry of human resource development (MHRD) has led to a strong reaction from those running the APSC. In their reply, APSC office bearers have wondered whether expressing a different view from the one held by Modi government could be construed as an attempt to spread of hatred.
Sent to the IITM authorities, the APSC reply said, “We do not understand how dissent and criticism of the government’s policy is akin to ‘spreading hatred’. If any person professing an anti-establishment view is accused of engaging in ‘controversial’ activities and all dissent is stifled, wouldn’t that be a violation of our constitutionally guaranteed rights to freely express ourselves?”
The APSC was debarred from continuing with its study circle by the Dean of Students of IITM on May 22, allegedly because it was “misusing” the privileges given to it as an independent student body. The decision to recognize the ASPC was reportedly taken unilaterally without giving any change to the student body to represent itself.
One of the reasons for derecognizing APSC was, it discussed "language politics" and criticized government for giving "primacy" to Sanskrit and Hindi. The APSC hit back, “As rationalists, we feel that though Sanskrit has a valued place as part of culture and history of certain sections of our society, it is also an instrument of spreading a Brahminical, dominant narrative.”
It insisted, “Imposition of Sanskrit in school has less to do with teaching a language and more to do with the ideology behind teaching the language. We stand by our opinions and wish to assert our rights to profess our opinions freely.”
Replying to other objections raised in the anonymous complaint which became the basis for the MHRD "inquiry",  the APSC said, “Our activities are engaged with the healthy discussion on socio-economic issues on scientific basis to promote the scientific temper among the student which is allowed by the Indian Constitution”, asking why a similar yardstick is not applied on right-wing students' organizations.
Pointing out that the IITM authorities’ views suggest that only opinions put forth by a right-wing group would be allowed to continue their activities, the reply said, the Dean of Students had earlier warned the APSC to change the name from Ambedkar-Periyar, since it was “polarizing the students”. This, it indicated, suggested the Dean’s anti-Dalit point of view. While BR Ambedkar is the national symbol of Dalit rights, Periyar was the founder of the Dravid movement.
Quoting from the MHRD letter dated May 21, 2015, the reply said, one of the allegations in the anonymous complaint was that the study centre was spreading hatred against the Modi government. To substantiate, a copy of an APSC pamphlet on Ambedkar Jayanti was enclosed.
“IITM itself have had many meetings that discussed the policies and legislation of the current and previous elected governments”, the APSC said, wondering what steps were taken by the IITM authorities against those who fought on streets against the government’s reservation policy in the past.
The APSC said, another accusation is that it has been “spreading hatred” between scheduled caste/scheduled tribes (SC/ST) and Hindus. “We are surprised”, it stated, asking, “Are SC/ST not part of the so-called Hindus? How MHRD and IITM ares perceiving such a venomous anonymous mail with full of hatred towards the SC/ST and Ambedkar?"
It wonders, "Are we the ones who polarize the students or they are the ones who think IITM is their own base to propagate against the interest of SC/ST and other backward classes?”

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.