Something awry in IIT Madras: the full story

Student activism and disruptive intellectualism inside IIT Madras is beginning to look dangerously like student rowdyism bordering on violence.

And the rot is in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences(HSS).

From the time Dr.Ananth as Director, IIT Madras started the integrated five-year MA course in English, Development Studies and Economics in 2006, this premier institution of higher learning has been on a downward slope. From a research and development institute which attracted the best brains in the country committed to learning and scholarship in the areas of science, technology and engineering, the institute has been dragged down to cater to the lowest common denominator which presently characterises the Marxist/Christian/Dravidian politics-driven faculty members of HSS and various student groups.

Student activism and disruptive intellectualism inside IIT Madras is beginning to look dangerously like student rowdyism bordering on violence generally associated with the Madras Law College, Nandanam Arts College or Presidency College. The ideological affiliations of several members of the faculty of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, the political ideology of speakers invited to speak from various forums, the topics chosen for lectures and debates, the ‘kiss and love’ protest in November 2014 and now the orchestrated protests fuelled and egged on by 24-hour English news channels against the ban on the vicious and publicly anti-Hindu student group Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) are all the outwardly visible lesions of the cancer that has now afflicted this once world-class education institution. It would not be overstating to say the prestige of IIT Madras and its intellectual climate have been seriously jeopardised by this cancer.

Modi sarkar must seize the events leading up to the de-recognition of APSC by Dean of Students (DoST) as an opportunity to take a hard look at why IIT Madras was persuaded/pressured by UPA II to introduce the five year integrated course in Economics, English and Development Studies in 2006. The Modi Government must scrutinise the syllabus of these courses and the teaching staff who have been recruited as faculty members into HSS because the course content, the ideological affiliations of the faculty and the kind of students admitted to these courses best demonstrate the intent behind starting the integrated M.A courses. The present Government must also get to the bottom of why Prof. S. Chella Rajan as HoD HSS scrapped the five year dual degree course in Economics.

‘With an interdisciplinary perspective at the heart of its approach, the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Madras, which is one of the oldest departments in the Institute, provides intellectual and cultural foundations for the study of human relations in contemporary contexts. During the course of more than fifty years, it has grown into a vibrant department with teaching and research programmes run by a globally acknowledged team of faculty members.

The five-year integrated Master of Arts (M.A.) programme is designed to meet the needs of students who seek a broader learning forum and who appreciate the unique design of inter-disciplinary studies. The programme encourages students to engage in critical thinking and research on ideas, people, society and the human condition. HSEE-2014 is intended to admit students to this programme in two streams: Development Studies and English Studies. The first two years of the curriculum are common to all students, after which they branch out into one of the two streams.’

This is the opening paragraph of noble posturing by the Department of HSS in the information brochure for students appearing for the entrance exam to the integrated M.A course. The humanities department may be one of the oldest in IIT Madras but that’s just half the truth because the integrated M.A course began only in 2006.

There is serious mischief behind this ‘inter-disciplinary’ approach to history. ‘Inter-disciplinary’ is the latest weapon in the battleground of academia where pseudo sciences like political science, social science and anthropology are used to evaluate historical data concerned with determining (and negate) issues of nation, nationality and nationalism. This inter-disciplinary approach to history was invented in the context of expansionist white Church writing the history of lands and peoples it invaded, conquered and occupied.

In America, this weapon was used to manufacture the Bering Strait Theory which said Native Americans were not native to America and long, long ago they too migrated to America by hopping across the Bering Strait at low tide. In India this inter-disciplinary façade in history has been used to dislodge Sanskrit from its position of pre-eminence and using the Aryan Invasion Theory to place Brahmins outside national borders by calling them invading Aryans. In IIT Madras, the inter-disciplinary approach to Development Studies and English Studies is only ten different chutneys accompanying a plate of idly in five star hotels instead of the routine two offered by push cart idly vendors. In the end, the idly is the same.

‘The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) is one of the earliest departments at IITM. The Department is essentially multi-disciplinary in nature and has faculty from diverse Streams, such as Development Studies, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, Health Studies, History, International Relations, Philosophy, Politics, and Sociology.’

Several of these so-called Streams can be manipulated to have caste, class, feminist and tribal content; tragically, no thinker has seen the M.A integrated course in IIT Madras for what it is – an academic battleground. European Christian missionaries in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries arrived in India with long-term intent which included creating English medium schools, colleges and universities, either funded and controlled directly by the local church or the regional Christian-colonial administration.

After independence in 1947, the country’s academia, especially, history has been under the direct control of Marxists and indirect control of missionaries. In Tamil Nadu, Dravidian ideology which has a marked anti-Brahmin, anti-Hindu slant, has controlled academia.


The rise of the BJP in the country’s polity culminating in the BJP-led NDA government in Delhi in 1996, and the consequent beginning of the end of political disempowerment of Hindus frightened the Generic Church and it wanted the academic battleground to shift from the mass-based non-premier colleges to premier institutions of higher learning. The objective was to use the faculty in humanities to condition the mind and thinking of students against Hindu nationalism and against the party which was perceived as a Hindu political vehicle.

The challenge was to persuade/pressure premier institutions of higher learning to start courses which would serve the same idly, dosa and pongal served in street corner eateries and push-carts but on silver cutlery. The Generic Church wanted slick packaging for the same anti-Hindu content in history, in what goes by the name of ‘liberal arts’, and in the pseudo sciences.The faculty recruited to teach the integrated M.A course with their stints in foreign universities, in Harvard, Yale and Cambridge, with their Rockefeller connections and Fulbright scholarships provided the expensive packaging.

Indians with Harvard, Yale and Cambridge behind them would not come back to India to teach in Madras Law College or Presidency Collegebut teaching the same Aryan Invasion Theory and mouthing the same anti-Brahmin, anti-Hindu, anti-Sanskrit discredited theories in history and linguistics, but as teachers in IIT Madras was something else which would give academic Hindu-bashing a veneer of serious scholarship. A certain Prof.Madhivanan with a Ph.D in History from Madras University holding forth on ‘brahminical Hinduism’, caste oppression or ‘recolonization’ by Aryans of Dravidian peoples is not the same as a Professor or Associate Professor saying the same thing as faculty member of HSS in IIT Madras, in refined language and perfect English. Anti-Hindu academia was all set to get a facelift in IIT Madras.

Before we look at the menu card of what is being offered in the department of HSS in IIT Madras, it is vital to inspect the cutlery.

HSS Syllabus and Faculty as weapons of war

  • ANUP KUMAR BHANDARI has MSc Economics from Vidyasagar University, West Bengal, India. He did PhD in Quantitative Economics, Indian Statistical Institute.
  • AYSHA IQBAL is Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences. She has an MA (Lit) , MPhil (Lit) and PhD (Lit) from Vikram University, Madhya Pradesh. She did MPhil (ELT) andPGDTE from English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad and has been a Visiting Scholar at Simon Fraser University , Vancouver (Canada) where she worked in the area of Film Studies. Her core research interests are Drama, Contemporary Literature and Film Studies.
  • BINITHA V THAMPI has an MA in Politics and International Relations from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala, PhD in Development Studies from Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, India.
  • DEVAKI REDDY has an MA and PhD from JNU, New Delhi. She has been on the editorial board of International Reading Association, and has been a resource person to the British Council. Her current interests include topics in Sociolinguistics and English Language Teaching.
  • EVANGELINE MANICKAM has an MA and PhD from the University of Madras. She was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Georgia and the Louisiana State University. She specializes in American Studies, South Asian (expatriate) Literature and Humour studies. She also teaches French.
  • HARENDRA KUMAR BEHERA has an MA(Economics) and PhD(Economics) from the University of Hydrabad. He has been an Economist (Research Officer during December 2005 to December 2012 and Assistant Adviser since January 2013) in Reserve Bank of India.
  • JOE THOMAS KARACKATTU has MA, MPhil and PhD (International Relations) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi). He has been a Fox Fellow – (2008-09) at Yale University. His current interest are
  • Economic interdependence and conflict, Sino-Indian relations, China’s foreign and economic policy, Cross-Strait ties and Democratization and economic development in Taiwan.
  • JOHN BOSCO LOURDUSAMY has an MA from Pondicherry University and DPhil from the University of Oxford. He has been a Queen Elizabeth Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. His current
  • interests include Religion & Science, Technology & Rural Participation and History of Science.
  • JYOTIRMAYA TRIPATHY has an MA from Berhampur University, Orissa and PhD from IIT Kharagpur. He is interested in English Literature and Cultural Theory, Postcolonial historiography, Political history, Cultural Studies and Alternative Development.
  • KALPANA K has an M.A History from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi and PhD from the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS), Chennai.
  • MALATHY D has an MA and PhD from the University of Madras. She was a Rockefeller Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Economic Growth Centre, Yale University. Her areas of interest include Applied Econometrics, Economics of Human Resources (Education, Health, Labour and Population) Industrial Economics, Economics of Gender, and Money, Banking & Finance.
  • MATHANGI KRISHNAMURTHY has an MA and PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. She was a Andrew W.Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow at Institute for Research in the Humanities and Dept. of
  • Anthropology, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. Her areas of interest include Anthropology of Work, Globalization, Virtuality, Affective labor, Gender and Work, Media studies, South Asia.
  • MILIND BRAHME has an MA and PhD from JNU, New Delhi. He has been a DAAD Pre-doctoral Fellow at the University of Göttingen, Germany (1994-95) and a Franz Werfel Post-doctoral Fellow at the
  • University of Klagenfurt, Austria (2005). His current interests include modern German and Marathi literature and Comparative Literature.
  • MOHAN S has an MA from the University of Madras. His areas of specialization include Freshman English (English for Communication) Indian Fiction in English, Science Fiction and Technical/Business
  • Communication.
  • MURALEEDHARAN V R has an MA (Hons) from BITS, Pilani and PhD from IIT Madras. He was a Takemi Fellow in International Health at Harvard School of Public Health during 1995-96.
  • PREMA RAJAGOPALAN has an MA from the University of Madras, and PhD from IIT Kanpur. She specializes in sociology of science and technology. She has worked in China on Technology Transfer
  • under the India-China bilateral Cultural Exchange Programme. Her current interests include built environment & society and gender studies.
  • RAJESH KUMAR graduated with a PhD in linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The areas of his teaching and research include, language in education, sociolinguistics, linguistic theory, and language in cognition. He has presented his work at several professional meetings including the annual meeting of the Linguistic Society of America.
  • SABUJ KUMAR MANDAL has an M.Sc. (Economics) from University of Calcutta and Ph.D. (Economics) from Institute for Social and Economic Change Bangalore. His current interests Energy and
  • Environmental Economics, Industrial Economics, BehavioralEconomics,Efficiency and Productivity Analysis (frontier approach).
  • SANTHOSH ABRAHAM has MPhil and PhD in History from the University of Hyderabad. His research interests include, Legal History, Courts, Trials and Punishment in History, Police and Prisons in India,
  • Colonial Subjects and Indigenous Resistances to Colonialism, Social and Cultural History, History of Education and Automobile in Indian History and Culture.
  • SANTHOSH R has an M.A. in Sociology from Bangalore University and Ph.D. (Sociology) from Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore. His current interests Sociology of Religion, Islam,
  • Identity and Ethnic Relations, Social movements, Development.
  • SATYA SUNDAR SETHY has an MA and PhD (Philosophy) from the University of Hyderabad. His current interests include Analytical Philosophy, Contemporary Western Philosophy, Philosophy ofLanguage, Logic, Development of Student Skills, Theories and Forms of Learning, Information and communication Technology(ICT) in Education.
  • SHIREEN MIRZA
  • SHREESH CHAUDHARY has an MA from Mithila University, Bihar; a Certificate in ELT from Lancaster, U.K. and PhD from CIEFL, Hyderabad. He has been a Hornby Foundation Fellow and a CharlesWallace Trust scholar in the U.K. He is interested in the form and function of English in India, and has researched the cognitive aspects of language learning and multilingualism.
  • SOLOMON J BENJAMIN has an MS (Arch.) S. Master Science in Architectural Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Massachusetts and PhD in Department of Urban Studies andPlanning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • SONIKA GUPTA has an MA, M.Phil and Ph.D from JNU, New Delhi in International Relations &Politics and Chinese Studies. She has worked with prominent think tanks in New Delhi (Institute of Peace andConflict Studies & Observer Research Foundation) and Bangalore (National Institute of Advanced Studies). Her major research interests are International Relations Theory, Chinese Foreign Policy,Chinese Domestic Politics, Human Security and Nuclearisation of South Asia. She has introduced and teaches courses on International Relations Theory and Chinese politics at HSS.
  • SREEKUMAR N has an MA from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam and PhD from the University of Hyderabad. His current interests include Philosophy of Language, Hermeneutics, Phenomenology,Philosophy of Wittgenstein, Film and Media Studies and Indian Thought.
  • SRILATA K has an MA from the University of Madras and PhD from the University of Hyderabad. She was a Fulbright Pre-doctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz and received a Charles
  • Wallace grant for a course in creative writing in the U.K. Her current interests include women’s writing, literature in translation and creative writing.
  • SUBASH S has PhD in Economics from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. His current interests include Foreign Direct Investment, Trade and Technology and Applied Industrial Economics
  • SUDARSAN P has an MA from National College, Tirchy, PhD from Pondicherry University, Pondicherry, in the area of critical social theory and another PhD from University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida,USA, in the area of comparative, social and political philosophy. He was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Kenyon College, Ohio and during Spring 2007 taught as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Philiosophy, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
  • SUDHIR CHELLA RAJAN has a B.Tech from IIT Bombay, an MS in Meteorology from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and an interdisciplinary doctoral degree in Environmental Scienceand Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles. He has been a Senior Fellow at Tellus Institute, working on Climate Policy and Global Politics and Institutions. His current interests are inPolitical Theory and the Environment, Institutional Theories of Development and Sustainable Development Policy.

The last on the list, Sudhir Chella Rajan, his live-in companion/wife (?) Sujatha Byravan, and Milind Brahme, according to some students and alumni from IIT Madras who spoke to me, are the brains and driving force behind the rapidly evolving role of the HSS department and several student groups including APSC, as the new anti-Hindu academic battleground.

Ministry of HRD, Government of India would do well to put these three persons and the entire HSS faculty under the scanner. Milind Brahme joined IIT Madras before Chella Rajan but while Milind Brahme, for some inconceivable reason is still Associate Professor, Chella Rajan who joined as Associate Professor, was elevated to Professor, and then Head of the Department of HSS. He is now Head of Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS). It is unclear what is the exact mandate of the IGCS considering that it operates out of IIT Madras, and has the backing of the German government.

It was Prof.Chella Rajan, as HoD, HSS who recruited most of the current faculty members for the inter-disciplinary HSS department. It was Prof. Sudhir Chella Rajan who gave the HSS faculty its anti-Hindu religious and ideological demography. The entire faculty is weighted heavily on the side of Christians, the avowedly Marxist and anti-Hindu JNU, and feminists.

Pondicherry University, like JNU also has a presence inside IIT Madras not only as faculty in HSS but also as guest speakers in their student forums. If there are indeed any Hindus among the HSS faculty, they are almost certainly the ‘afraid-to-be Hindu/afraid-to-say Hindu’ type who are no match to Marxists, Christians and feminists on the academic battleground.

Centre for Chinese Studies is a new Stream in HSS and another window opened for more Marxists to enter IIT Madras. Sounika Gupta, also from JNU besides being the IIT Madras China Expert, is also several other things. The first two years of the HSS curriculum are common to all students.Students of English Studies and Development Studies study the same subjects for the first two years.If the real intent behind the five year M.A course is to shift the academic battleground to premier education institutions and teaching history constitutes the core of this intent, then history is almost certain to be a part of this common curriculum.This is because history with liberal doses of white Christian political ideology which not only preaches but gets the U.S and U.N to enforce all kinds of freedoms and rights, is the best brainwashing medium in all academia. The history syllabus reproduced below proves my point.

Indian Society and Culture

  1. Structure of Indian Society: Caste, Class and Tribe, Institutions of Marriage, Family and Kinship, Political institutions, Demographic Indicators and Trends.
  2. Social Change in India: Sanskritization, Modernisation, Westernization and Secularization, Social Movements and Regionalism, Panchayati Raj Institutions& Governance, Affirmative Action Programme of the Government, Commissions and Policy Interventions.
  3. History and the Making of Indian Society: Mughal era and Islamisation, British Raj, Sepoy Mutiny, Reform Movements in the 19th Century and the Emergence of India.
  4. Indian Philosophy and Thinkers: Jainism and Mahavira, Budhha and his Teachings, the Charvakins, Orthodox Systems, Sikhism, Sufism, Gandhi and Non-violence.

If we keep in mind the intent behind the five year integrated course, then it is obvious that what the syllabus offers, the slant it gives to history and what it has studiously ignored makes the intent clear. The history syllabus titled Indian Society and Culture

  •         provides the necessary space and context to undermine Jaati, varna and kulavyavasta, which is specific to Hindu dharmic tradition.
  •      provides feminists, anarchists and disruptive intellectualism among faculty and students to undermine the institutions of marriage and family. Ever since some research study in the US concluded that the fundamental reason why Indians succeed phenomenally in school and at work both in India and in any part of the world was a stable home and family, relentless attempts have been made to disrupt and destabilise the two foundational institutions of Indian society by several means including advocating free sex and homosexuality.
  •      gives a fillip to Nehruvian secular politics which held the country’s polity in thrall for six decades and which still continues to drive Indian academe.
  •       has studiously avoided mentioning Hindus and Hinduism by name, and
  •         has ignored the entire philosophical, intellectual, and political wealth of knowledge, information and wisdom contained in our sruti, smriti, puranas and itihasas, and telescoped our six streams of philosophy into the non-descript ‘Orthodox Systems’.

The intent behind the integrated M.A course by IIT Madras was to wage war against Hindus, Hindu nationalism and the ancient timeless civilization. The course content, the teachers and the students constitute the weapons in this war.

Student Groups as agent-provocateurs

The anti-Hindu bias of student groups and a section of HSS faculty remained dormant because the BJP lost the 2009 elections but began to manifest itself in earnest from around 2012 when it became obvious that the country wanted to be rid of the scam-ridden Congress and its imported first family. Student groups in the IIT geared up for action and what began in 2012 culminated in the ban on APSC in May 2015.

There are several student groups in IIT Madras and except for Vivekananda Study Circle (VSC) and Vande Mataram, the same students are behind the rest of the groups, all covertly supported by Sudhir Chella Rajan and Milind Brahme.

Around March-April 2012 the issue of free sex in the hostels of IIT Madras raises its head.At the centre of this controversy is Prof.Chella Rajan of the Department of HSS and the then Dean of Students, Prof. LS Ganesh. I have with me classified email exchanges on the issue: specifically the email exchanged between DoST and Prof.Chella Rajan.

Hostel rules in IIT Madras mandated that when women and girls visited men in the men’s hostel, the doors of the room must be left open. The campaign for free sex began with the seemingly innocuous demand to right of privacy which included keeping the doors of student rooms closed. The catch was, advocates for free sex wanted the right to meet with girls behind locked doors and the demand to keep their doors locked was made by the advocates of free sex in the guise of right to privacy.

Prof. Ganesh as DoST cautioned the advocates of free sex among the students and faculty that the idea of free sex went against the culture of this country which Prof. Ganesh described as ‘punyabhumi and karma bhumi’. Prof. Ganesh insisted that inside the campus, the students were the responsibility of the wardens and the Dean of students and unsafe sex and unwanted pregnancies were not only detrimental to the pursuit of academic excellence but also had grave health implications.  Prof. Ganesh also warned Chellsa Rajan that free sex inside the IIT campus and any scandal linked to it would only expose the institution to bad press considering the press thrived on sensationalism.

  1. ‘In any case, should any undesirable sex-related event (example, adolescent/pre-marital pregnancy, bobitting, AIDS, etc.,) occur within our students community, the students’ administration is answerable. We cannot shut our eyes and turn away. Nor will we have the luxury of taking comfort in flat denials. And, there and then we will have perform our duties and fulfill responsibilities, whether we like it or not, unfortunately. In my understanding, many of us faculty members of IIT Madras have consistently preferred to use the principles of ‘prevention is better than correction and/or cure’, and ‘nip it in the bud’. This is when and why we begin specification of hostel rules and regulations concerning sex and boy-girl or man-woman or boy-boy or girl-girl or man-man or woman-woman interactions. I believe we are on the right track and with the right intensity.’

Not surprisingly Prof. Ganesh’s sensible and measured reply to demands for free sex was labelled ‘talibanised response’. Prof.Chella Rajan who was openly for free sex wrote back to Prof. Ganesh. Here’s the email:

From: SUDHIR CHELLA RAJAN

Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 3:10 PM

To: GANESH L S; [emailidwithheld]

Subject: RE: [Faculty] FW: communication among wardens

Dear Ganesh,

I initially had a hard time interpreting your rant, but since I’ve had a fair amount of practice trying to interpret difficult texts for my recent courses, I shall attempt to summarise what you’ve just said:

First, we are a Hindu nation;Second, the press is bad;Third, controlling sex among students on campus is (probably) a good thing. I’m still confused about whether you have an argument at all, but Idon’t believe so.Given that you are in charge of managing the hostels and the student community,I believe you should work on developing a more cogent position on this important issue of student freedoms for the welfare of our institute as a whole.

Regards,Chella

Sudhir Chella Rajan Professor and Head Humanities and Social Sciences,CoordinatorIndo-German Centre for Sustainability

It is not coincidental that Prof.Chella Rajan locates himself in the middle of sex-related controversies. In June 2010, Ashley Tellis, Associate Professor in the Department of Liberal Arts, IIT Hyderabad, was sacked by IIT (H) for his publicly professed homosexual orientation. There had been stiff resistance from several members of the faculty to Ashley Tellis’ recruitment into IIT (H).

Interestingly, Prof.Chella Rajan was then Head of Department, Liberal Arts in IIT Hyderabad and was Ashley Tellis’ boss. It is beginning to look as if a section of academics like Chella Rajan want to make our institutions of higher learning some kind of lab experiment in social disruption.

The five year integrated M.A course in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences with people like Milind Brahme, Sounika Gupta and Chella Rajan has become a five-year internship in professional dissent, advocacy activism for free sex and other sundry anti-social freedoms and rights laced generously with anti-Hindu poison.

The ‘kiss of love’ protest in IIT Madras in November 2014 was more of the same. This protest was organized by the same bunch of for-free-sex students numbering around hundred, with the active support of Milind Brahme. The protest was organized demanding ‘openness’ in the student community and against what the students called ‘tradition’ and ‘moral policing’. However, Milind Brahme who joined the students in the frenzy of hugging and kissing endorsing what many would call libertinism, permissiveness and licentiousness, did not bring his family with him: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/141115/nation-current-affairs/article/mixed-response-kiss-love-iit-m

Student groups, faculty advisers, guest speakers and end objective

The more active of the several student groups inside IIT Madras are EML (Extra Mural Lectures), Chinta Bar, IIT for Society, Colloquium, Vivekananda Study Circle, Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle, VandeMataram and IIT Christian Fellowships.

While EML is a lectures forum, Colloquium is a debating forum. IIT for Society undertakes social service and social charity (more on this later). Chinta Bar and APSC are more of the same.

As mentioned earlier in the article, by around 2012 the general feeling in the country was the Congress would be rejected by the people in the 2014 General Elections and the BJP was almost certainly poised to form a coalition government in Delhi. It was also widely believed that this time Narendra Modi would be the BJP’s choice for Prime Minister.

IIT Madras began to prepare the soil for sowing the anti-BJP, anti-Modi seeds and used student forums to begin their election campaign, a good two years before the elections. A quick look at the speakers invited by IIT Madras to speak to students from different forums is revealing:

  • SiddharthVaradarajan on Justice and the Politics of Memory&Forgetting: 1984 and 2002 – November 11, 2012. Varadarajan was invited by IIT for Society and he walked into the hall with MilindBrahme in tow
  • Narendra Nayak, President Federation of Indian Rational Associations – January 23, 2013; He spoke on The Need for Rational Thinking
  • Dr. Rajeev Bhargava, Director CSDS spoke on Secularism: How should States respond to Religious Diversity – January 31, 2013
  • Jayakumar Christian, Director, World Vision India, invited by IIT Christian Fellowship for Christmas celebrations inside IIT Madras
  • Anand Patwardhan, Documentary maker; he made ‘Ram ke naam’ on the demolition of the Babri Mosque – 28, 29 and 30th January, 2014. He was invited by the Department of HSS and EML. Patwardhan spoke on Cinema of Resistance: A Documentary Journey
  • Teesta SetalvadHuman Rights and Communal Harmony – 10th February, 2014. She was invited by IIT for Society and EML
  • Muruganandam, Pondicherry University – Sanskrit and Language Politics then and now – invited by APSC, October 10, 2014. Read more about the vicious attack against Hindus and Hindu dharma at http://kafila.org/2014/10/24/sanskrit-and-language-politics-then-and-now-muruganandham/
  • Rajdeep SardesaiHas 2014 Elections Really Changed India? – 17th January, 2015. Invited by EML
  • Prof. Vivekananda Gopal – 14 April 2015, invited by APSC, spoke on Contemporary Relevance of Dr.Ambedkar

APSC was de-recognised and placed under temporary ban, subject to review by Board of Students, for the inflammatory poster that they had put up around the IIT campus ahead of the talk on April 14, 2015. The poster in question besides carrying two quotations from Ambedkar’s writings calling for Hinduism to be destroyed, is a veritable diatribe against Narendra Modi, Land Acquisition Bill, GharVapsi and beef ban.

APSC now claims that the poster was in fact a summary of the talk delivered by Prof. Gopal, a claim rejected by Prof. Gopal himselfand also refuted by other students who say the posters were up in IIT Madras not after the talk but before the talk.

Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle is only a cruder, less refined version of EML, Colloquium or IIT for Society. Between 2012 and 2015, all student bodies inside IIT Madras mentioned above have been equally anti-Hindu, anti-BJP and anti-Modi. While being anti-Modi and anti-BJP can be explained away as political opinion, vicious anti-Hindu sentiments are actually punishable under the Indian Constitution, Ambedkar or no Ambedkar.

Christian tentacles inside IIT Madras

Students of IITM showed me a poster of some summit organized under the aegis of Indo-German Centre for Sustainability in partnership with World Vision India.

World Vision International and World Vision India are self-proclaimed evangelical Christian funding agencies which fund Christian NGOs allegedly doing social charity while it is common knowledge that the money is diverted for church planting and religious conversion activities. And yet, IIT Madras allowed IGCS, located inside its campus with a member of its faculty serving as Co-ordinator to partner an explicitly communal outfit. The website of IGCS however does not mention WV in any context and it is anybody’s guess as to what exactly is the role of World Vision International or World Vision India in the activities of IGCS.

iitThe management of IIT Madras has allowed the church to open shop inside the campus in the form of another student body – IIT Christian Fellowship. For good measure, I was told that there are two groups – one for Catholics and another for Protestants. Students who spoke to me also told me it was common sight (until recently) to see Christians from different churches standing around bus-stops inside the IIT, around canteens and messes and in hostels, distributing Christian missionary pamphlets. One such Christian missionary was caught by the students inside the IIT campus on January 9, 2015 and handed over to the local police. The local police instead of booking the Christian missionary for unlawful religious activities inside an educational institution filed an FIR against him for trespassing!

The HSS integrated five year course has polluted the once-healthy learning climate in IIT Madras. While a large part of the blame can be laid squarely at the doors of the faculty of HSS, Directors past and present of IIT cannot be absolved of blame. The degeneration of IIT Madras happened right under their noses.

The HRD Ministry and Government of India must look beyond criticism of Modi and the government’s political and economic policies. The anti-Hindu bias of HSS both among the faculty and the students is a bigger cause for worry as is the intellectual slant of lecture and debating forums in IIT Madras. It is obvious that both the faculty and students of HSS have time on their hands and we know the old adage of idle minds and devil’s workshop.

Government of India must either scrap the five year integrated M.A courses in the Department of HSS, or make it intellectually more rigorous and academically demanding.

Appendices

  1. Pamphlet circulated at IITM on a lecture titled Contemporary Relevance of Ambedkar.

apsc

  1. Mischievous poster on Facebook announcing this event, quoting Ambedkar out of context. The media alleged that the poster of the talk delivered on AmbedkarJayanti by Mr Vivekanandan was put up after his talk. However the IITM students I met confirm that this poster was distributed in front of the Central Mess named Himalayas and in some hostels on 13 April during dinner time.

apsc

 

  1. IIT Christian Fellowship (at IIT Madras) Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IITCF. Screenshot of the said Facebook page in case it is deleted at a later date:

iit c

 

  1. Pamphlet put up near hostels and messes at IITM in November 2014 inciting students against the MHRD.

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radha@jjamm.net'

Radha Rajan is a Chennai-based political analyst. She is also author and animal activist.