IIT Bombay issues circular warning hostel residents against participating in 'anti-national activities'; students call it 'internal Emergency'

  • The IIT Bombay Dean of Students (DoSA) on Tuesday issued a circular warning students about taking part in 'anti-national', 'anti-social' and other activities

  • The ciruclar lists out 15 rules that need to be followed at all times and also includ ban on any form of speeches, plays and music without its prior approval

  • Terming the circular as a violation of Article 19, a student said that the rules 'tantamounts to declaring an internal emergency on the campus'

The IIT Bombay administration on Tuesday issued circular warning students against participating in "anti-national activities" or to "distribute posters or leaflets/pamphlets" within the campus.

Also banned within the IIT Bombay campus, according to the circular, are any form of speeches, plays and music, even if faculty is part of the gathering, without the prior approval of the Dean of Student Affairs (DoSA).

The circular, which was sent via email by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs to the students list out 15 rules, which the students are expected to follow at all times.

 IIT Bombay issues circular warning hostel residents against participating in anti-national activities; students call it internal Emergency

File image of IIT Bombay. Wikimedia Commons

"No posters or leaflets/pamphlets distribution allowed in the hostel without permission from respective hostel council or DoSA (Dean of Student Affairs)," one of the rules in the email, which Firstpost has obtained a copy of, read.

"Speeches/plays/music or any other activities that disturb 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," said another rule.

"Residents shall not participate in any anti-national, anti-social and or any other undesirable activities," another rule added.

Speaking with Firstpost, one of the students said that the circular gives no clarity on what entails an anti-national activity or what is an undesirable activity. "There is no clarification on both of these terms. These are problematic because this can be used to clamp down on any student activity by calling it 'anti-national' or 'undesirable'," one of the students said, on the condition of anonymity.

Adding further, the student claimed that the circular is a result of students' protests against CAA and the violence on other educational campuses.

"These rules are coming to the campus at a time when students have spoken against CAA and the violence that has been happening on the other campuses. I believe these rules are framed so as to quell the protest," the student said, adding that these rules need to be questioned.

"Any student activity which challenges any government policy would be clamped down in the name of being anti-national and undesirable until and unless we have a clarification on that. These are anyway politically loaded terms these days," the student said.

Terming the circular as a violation of Article 19, the student said that these rules basically bars them from expressing their freedom of speech.

"The administration needs to come up with more clarification. Otherwise, it tantamounts to declaring an internal emergency on campus. Because the moment you take out Article 19 and have put out a threat of 'anti-national' on everyone," the student added.

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Among other rules, which have been mentioned in the circular imposes restrictions on visits of IIT Bombay students to student hostels, as well as restrictions on the use of vehicles within the campus by student alotted hostel facility.

"Any violation of the above can lead to partial or permanent hostel suspension," the circular warns.

The IIT Bombay campus has been seeing protests against CAA as well as violence at the Jamia Millia Islamia, JNU and AMU.

According to reports, around 1,500 students took part in a rally on the eve of Republic Day in order to create awareness about the Constitution, whereas, on Republic Day, another march was held by students and faculty, called 'Reclaiming the Republic'. Several posters in support of women protesting at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh were seen during the march.

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Updated Date: Jan 29, 2020 13:35:46 IST