IIMC Professor Resigns Citing Witch-hunt Against Intellectual Freedom
Amit Sengupta, associate professor at Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi resigned from his post today in protest, citing victimisation by administration for expressing solidarity with the campaign for justice for Rohith Vemula, JNU and FTII struggles.
Sengupta states that he was compelled to quit “because the government ordered a punishment posting to Dhenkanal, Orissa.
The complete resignation letter follows:
To The OSD IIMC,
Sub: Resignation Letter
Dear Mr. Anurag Misra,
This is with reference to your letter posting me to Dhenkanal, Orissa. This letter was issued without any discussion with me or any faculty member. This violates every principle of academic freedom and autonomy of IIMC. You have reduced IIMC into a hand-maiden of a vicious, undemocratic and partisan regime. I presume that this is a clear case of victimization. If this is the way the faculty is treated then your administration has willfully chosen to dump the fundamental ethics of the Indian Constitution, and the dignity of the teaching profession.
Certainly, this is part of a larger witch-hunt against intellectual freedom, academic autonomy and professional excellence, to target and eliminate individuals who this regime has declared as enemies for reasons only they know. I am also aware that I have been targeted because I supported the solidarity protest for Rohith Vemula in the campus, organized independently by students of IIMC in which other faculty members too participated. I am proud of standing up for Rohith Vemula, and will continue to do so in the days to come. This is my constitutional right.
I think grave injustice has been done to him and the students of the Hyderabad Central University. I will always stand and fight for Dalit rights. I have also been targeted because I supported the JNU and FTII students. I think both the struggles are glorious and the country will enrich itself with the great leap of imagination and the brilliant content of the peaceful, democratic debate the students and faculty of these great institutions have generated. It was an honour for me, as a former JNUSU president, to address the open air gathering of faculty and students of JNU, in which the finest of minds in India and abroad have participated.
I am proud of being part of the great intellectual and political tradition of JNU, which cultivates independent critical thinking, open windows of enlightenment and pluralist and secular doors of perception, aligned with the poor, the Dalits, the adivasis, the minorities, and backward and marginalized sections of Indian society. You have not only targeted me, therefore, you have targeted the basic values of our progressive Constitution.
In IIMC I have perhaps taken the maximum number of lectures/workshops, like many of my learned faculty members. I have taught my students that they will never do journalism which professes xenophobia, casteism, sexism, racism, and communalism. That they should be objective and impartial. Also, that they should have open-ended, non-dogmatic and independent minds, and stand for truth and public interest, come what may. I presume I am paying a price for that.
I refuse to accept your arbitrary and unethical posting.Truth will stand with me. I hereby resign from IIMC in protest. I wish you and IIMC well.
IIMC New Delhi
March 4, 2016
Report by Manisha.