NEW DELHI :
Days after its director asked faculties to keep the campus off politics, the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) has now issued a directive asking students not to indulge in “anti-national activities".
The ‘code of conduct rules’ from the dean of student affairs office at the IIT has underlined 15 dos and don’ts, but the one on nationalism has stunned students. “Residents shall not participate in any anti-national, anti-social or any other undesirable activities," one of the points in the IIT-B notice read.
“No posters or leaflets/pamphlets distribution allowed in the hostel without permission from the respective hostel council or DoSA (Dean of Student Affairs). Speeches, plays…or any other activities that disturbs the peace of hostel environment is strictly prohibited. Not allowed even if faculty is part of the gathering. Only matters that are approved from DoSA office will be permitted," it further underlined.
A section of IIT-B students were strongly opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, and had stood in solidarity with students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students. JNU, AMU and Jamia have been the epicenter of a student led movement against CAA that later spread to campuses across India, and some top universities in the US and Europe, much before civil society groups and opposition political parties hit the street in Delhi and elsewhere in the country.
However, the IIT-B notice issued on 28 Jan does not qualify the meaning of anti-national activity and ant-social activity. The notice comes at a time a student from the JNU has been charged with sedation for his ‘divisive’ speech at Aligarh Muslim University during an anti-CAA program.
The notice also asks students to carry identity cards and show it to security on demand and expects students to show good manners to their fellow students and teachers. “All residents shall be courteous and fair with everyone inside and outside the hostel," the notice further read.
While the notice says that it is to “reiterate and highlight some of the hostel rules which need to be strictly implemented hereafter from this day of January 28, 2020," Mint could not independently verify whether the directive on nationalism was part of any previous rules issued to its students.
A spokesperson of the IIT Bombay did not respond to calls and text message on what prompted the engineering school to issue such a notice. A student at the IIT who declined to be named said that like JNU administration, the IIT-B admin may be looking to restrict students’ activities on the wake of the anti-CAA protest. News agency IANS quoted the IIT-B spokesperson saying that the circular was sent by the Associate Dean (Student Affairs), and "these are not new rules, but were in the statutes".