IIT Prof’s meltdown, abuse of students is a lesson on how not to teach

Associate Professor Seema Singh’s humiliation of Dalit and PWD students exposes the class divide in elite institutions

Associate Professor Seema Singh’s humiliation of Dalit and PWD students

The video that has now gone viral for all the wrong reasons of an online preparatory English course held for students belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes as well as persons with disability, at IIT Kharagpur, has once again exposed the class divide in elite institutions, which are staffed by abusive teachers such as the woman, identified as Associate Professor Seema Singh of HSS Department who is heard screaming and abusing students of the course. 



Singh is so confident that none of the students will be able to lodge a complaint against her that she dares them to do so, and says no harm will come to her. She continues to verbally abuse and threaten students that she will fail them. She claims no harm will come to her even if they complain to the Ministry of Women and Child Care or the Ministry of SC/ST/Minorities. For reasons unknown she screams and verbally abuses them calling them “Bloody Bastards” again and again, and the students are forced to bear the humiliation silently. “What I have to do, I will do, nothing on earth can prevent me from doing that to you… go anywhere, go to Ministry of Women and Child Care or Ministry of SC/ST/Minorities, nothing will prevent me…,” she is heard saying.

The teacher is not satisfied at that, and soon starts ranting about nationalism to the students berating them for what she perceives is their lack of her idea of duty towards the country. She invokes ‘bharat mata ki jai’ saying it is the “minimum you can do for your country,” and then continues calling them ‘bloody bastards’ which seem to be her favourite swear words. In another clip she says she denied leave to a student who had recently lost her grandfather to Covid-19, saying how did someone dying affect the student when during ‘Covid times’ funeral ceremonies are all curtailed. 


The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), a student’s collective highlighted the abusive professor’s video and has demanded that she be terminated from her job, booked under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, and that a permanent SC, ST, and OBC Cell at IIT Kharagpur and all other IITs be set up. According to the APPSC, the cell will function as an “anti caste discrimination cell, take strict actions against casual and structural casteism and work towards sensitising the campus about casual and structural forms of discriminations.”



The videos first emerged Sunday on the Facebook page of ‘IIT KGP confessions’ stated news reports. According to a report in The Print, a student told them that the professor began abusing “because she thought that students did not stand up for the national anthem”.  According to The Hindu, a section of academicians has brought the issue to the notice of the National Commission of Scheduled Castes along with the Ministry of Human Resource and Development describing the abuses as ‘casteist’.



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