Intolerance Strikes, Sandeep Pandey is out of BHU

RSS hardliners ensured the premature termination, says Pandey
My contract at the IIT, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Varanasi as a visiting faculty has prematurely ended after teaching there for two-and-a-half years. This decision was prematurely taken by the Board of Governors (BOG). In a recent Board meeting the Vice Chancellor of BHU, who was made the Chairman of the IIT Board of Governors by the Minister of HRD, government of India, Smriti Irani, after by-passing the panel of five names recommended by a resolution of the Board of Governors. Thereafter, professor G.C. Tripathi, and Dean of Faculty Affairs, IIT, BHU and professor Dhananjay Pandey, both gentlemen associated with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), primarily forced the decision.

The charges levelled against me are that I am a Naxalite, showed a banned documentary on Nirbhaya case and am also involved in anti-national activities.

I wish to clarify that I'm not a Naxalite. The ideology that I would consider myself closest to is Gandhian.

But I do identify with the causes taken up by Naxalites even though I may not agree with their methods.

The banned documentary on Nirbhaya made by BBC was to be screened in my Development Studies class during the even semester of academic year 2014-15 but the decision was withdrawn after intervention of Chief Proctor of the BHU and officer of the Lanka Police Station just before the class. However, a discussion on the issue of violence against women in our society was conducted after screening a different documentary.

I do not believe in the idea of a nation or national boundaries, which I think are responsible for artificial divisions among human beings similar to the ones on the basis of caste or religion. Hence I cannot be anti or pro-nation. I am pro-people. I'm not a nationalist but am a universalist. I have no regrets as the decision to terminate my contract has not been taken based on my academic performance but it is because of my political views and activities. I've enjoyed my stay at IIT, BHU and wish the Institute and the Univeristy very much.
(Sandeep Pandey, a Magsaysay awardee for emergent leadership has trained in Mechanical Engineering but has been working on social justice issues; he is co-foundre of Aasha)



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