'Our Dissent Is Being Muzzled': IIMC Students Suspended For Organising Public Talk On Affordable Education
Eleven students of the Indian Institute Of Mass Communication were issued a show-cause notice on February 11 and placed under suspension for five days for continuing acts of alleged indiscipline.
The students, however, alleged that the notice was served because they organised a public talk on affordable education on February 9.
A day before organising the public talk, the students had sought permission from the administration. Their request, however, was denied.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Hrishikesh Sharma, one of the suspended students, says, "We were shocked at the response from the administration. They said we could not use any part of the campus for organising such talk shows."
The response raised questions among the students as they thought it was an attempt to muzzle their dissent.
The students, however, went ahead and organised the talk show.
"Soon after the talk show kicked off, Anand Pradhan - post director of Hindi and Development Journalism - came to the ground and tried to interrupt the show. He rebuked the students and plucked out the posters," Hrishikesh says, adding that the event continued and people came at their own will.
The Logical Indian got access to the notice issued to the students, which read: "From some time past, and more particularly on 09th February 2020, there have been concerted acts of indiscipline on the part of some student within the IIMC Campus in spite of repeated counselling by the authorities in the administration as also faculty."
The 11 students have now been asked to give reasons before February 13, explaining why further disciplinary action should not be taken against them for violating the 'Code of Conduct'.
Students have alleged that the university administration tried to mobilise them by spreading misinformation, and threatened to take disciplinary actions if they expressed their dissent.
The students have said that they will not reply to the administration and further will write a letter to the administration seeking how they have violated the Code of Conduct.
"We believe that we haven't done anything wrong. We will not apologise before the administration," says Hrishikesh.
The copy of the notice will be further sent to these students' guardians. Some parents are worried as placements are just around the corner.
"I have informed my parents about my suspension. However, they are worried that this suspension might harm their placements," says Rahul Yadav, a student of English Journalism dept.
For the past two months, the students at IIMC have been protesting against an alleged fee hike - 100 percent within ten years.
The administration has also issued a circular for the second-semester fees. Earlier, the students had called off their protests against the fee hike after the administration agreed that the students will pay the fees only after a revised fee structure is issued.
However, the administration has now issued the circular for the second semester.
"They have violated their own circular," concludes Hrishikesh.
Earlier as many as 120 alumni of the institute wrote to the secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I and B), expressing solidarity with the protesting students.