“The idea was to show that the campus is apolitical. And that we have a responsibility towards nation building. The march was conducted to reinforce positive academic and robust research environment among IIT-Bombay students and maintain academic decorum of the institute. The director’s call was a consequence of disturbing unacademic political natured anti-CAA protests carried out by a small group of students,” said a statement issued by the organisers of the Tiranga rally.
In an open house organised by the student body at IIT-Bombay, the institute’s director,
Subhasis Chaudhuri, said the institute must be free of any kind of political endorsement and students could express their ‘individual’ views and opinions on political issues outside the campus. These opinions should be made in their individual capacity and should not be attributed to the institute, he had said. Sources even said that Chaudhuri reminded the students that everything on the campus was funded by the Government of India and it was the taxpayers’ money.
|IIT-Bombay for Justice, a collective on the campus, released a statement condemning
the sedition charges filed against Sharjeel Imam of JNU, who was also an alumnus of
the institute. Imam completed his degree in computer science from IIT-Bombay.
“The fact that draconian sedition charges have been applied to threaten an assertive
student who rightly discussed the negative implications of Assam NTC and NRC at
large is highly condemnable,” said the statement.
The participants of the Tiranga rally claimed that it was organised to reiterate the institute’s commitment to produce technocrats and entrepreneurs of international standards. A student who participated said that many of them do not want to be identified with any political groups. “We do not have any such groups on the campus. It was purely students oriented and many joined it voluntarily,” he said, adding that some people who are not in support of CAA or NRC also feel that the campus should remain apolitical. A section of these students had earlier conducted a rally in support of CAA and against misinformation.
On Sunday, students and faculty members, under the collective IIT-Bombay for Justice, who were carrying out anti-CAA protests for over last one month also held a ‘Reclaim the Republic Rally’.