IIT Kharagpur admin cancels seminar on ‘identity and citizenship’

Students protest undemocratic stand of the admin, univ officials say programme can’t be held on campus

IIT Kharagpur

The IIT Kharagpur administration cancelled a seminar by the students of IIT Kharagpur on February 12, 2020 to discuss about the adverse effects of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).



A spokesperson o the research body “Education Group” told NDTV that they were initially given permission to organize the programme at the IIT employee-run staff club within the campus. However, they were informed that the permission had been withdrawn for ‘some reasons’.

“We were informally told that discussions on such a contentious issue cannot be held within the campus area as per the instructions from higher authorities of IIT Kharagpur,” the spokesperson said. “We had invited three speakers and none of them were politicians,” she added.

She also said that the discussion was to be a general academic discourse on identity and citizenship, without directly referring to the CAA-NPR-NRC.

Eminent journalist Subhojit Bagchi, Rights Activist Ranjit Sur and Professor Partho Sarathi Ray were scheduled to deliver their views at the seminar.

Ranjit Sur, said, “This is a knee-jerk response from IIT Kharagpur which shows they are not willing to allow debate on contemporary issues on the campus.”

PTI reported that the officials did not want to talk to about it but a faculty who wished to remain anonymous said that the cancellation had nothing to do with the ‘pro-Centre’ or ‘anti-Centre’ policy of the institute.

“Our policy is not to allow any programme which may trigger tension, division and untoward incidents in the campus. The researchers are free to organize the programme outside the campus,” he said.

Not just this, the officials of the institute are now using the police to harass the students who organized the seminar and the police called the respective students for an interrogation about the initiative.

Students have urged that others condemn this completely undemocratic and unconstitutional atrocity by the police and the administration.


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