Students of the Journalism department at Madras University have been protesting for the last five days against the Head 0f Department, alleging him of discriminating on the basis of caste, exacting personal vengeance, failing students on purpose, and not taking classes.
Iliyas Muhammad, the student who is leading the protest, said, “The root cause of all this is the Ambedkar and Periyar forum of which we are a part of. Things have turned murkier since the protests began. The HoD had even issued a notice stating that we are anti-social elements, and to a greater extent, that we are a part of a Naxal group”, said Iliyas.
Iliyas also alleges that the HoD has built an image of being a progressive person. But ironically how he is within the premises of the university is a prime example of a pseudo-liberal and fake progressive person.
Interestingly, another group had also come out protesting in favour of the professor.
Speaking of the different shades to this issue, another student who wanted to remain anonymous, said that PhD students are not required to fulfil their degree requirements only in terms of theoretical knowledge, but it must consist of a balance between fieldwork and classroom education as well, which the professor is doing pretty well.
When I spoke with the HoD, Dr Ravindran about this issue, he denied the allegations made by the students and said the protests are politically motivated.
He also said, “I take classes regularly, and I am a 9 am to 9 pm working person. I post my class sessions regularly on Facebook, and one can even verify that.”
When asked about calling his students ‘Naxals’, he denied the allegation. He said that the students are staging this stunt as the syndicate elections are fast approaching.
With reference to the issue that took place at IIT Madras, where there was a clash between two student groups over the beef ban issue, Dr Ravindran said, “These three students protesting against me are looking for a political plunge through the Ambedkar Periyar study circle. I personally do not agree with this.”
“Trapping students of other political affiliations like the ABVP and the SFI by deceptive methods is really shocking,” says the professor. He concluded by saying that the university is supposed to take a call on this and the issue has been taken to the concerned authorities.
Such scenarios at prestigious universities would really affect the glory and legacy of the institution, and it’s high time that the institution should look into this and sort it out not just for the those protesting out there but also a resolution for the others too.