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

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

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.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.