The controversy over the "veg-only" tables at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has surfaced again. As per the latest reports, few students of the institute protested against the designated Vegetarian place after which, the engineering institute charged a fine of Rs 10,000 to a research scholar at the premier college. The report further says, an inquiry has been launched to identify two others who are suspected to have taken part in the protests.
Earlier in an e-mail to the residents of the hostel, mess council said, " It has been decided to designate only six tables exclusively for vegetarian food. These tables will be marked clearly with signage stating — This place is designated for vegetarian food ONLY. We kindly request all residents to support this initiative so that everyone can enjoy their meals in a peaceful environment."
In this process, the mess council of Hostel 12, 13 and 14 held a meeting online on October 1, where it was decided, "This act was a premeditated attempt to disrupt the peace and harmony within the mess, in defiance of the advice provided by the Associate Dean SA (Students’ Affairs)…” , at which the decision of the penalty was also taken. The controversy erupted after one of the mess councils reserved some tables for vegetarians."
As per the reports, the mess council of these three hostels held a meeting with wardens and associate wardens of the respective hostels to discuss the complaints of unruly behaviour and flouting of rules by a few students during dinner on September 28, a day after the "vegetarian only" tables were reserved. The three hostels share a combined mess.
APPSC IIT Bombay through a tweet on X (formerly twitter) shared, "IIT Bombay has imposed a fine of Rs 10000 on the students who had stood against the food segregation policy of the institute by a peaceful act of individual civil disobedience. This action of the admin is similar to a Khap Panchayat acting to uphold untouchability in modern times."
The student who was fined for violating the rules received an email on October 1 but with no prior information of the council discussion. Career 360 quotes a member of Ambedkar Periyar Phule study circle (APPSC) who alleges. "Although the meeting was conducted especially to discuss this instance, no prior information was given to him."
Proof of charges of Rs 10,000 slapped by the IIT Bombay. | Twitter @APPSC
APPSC IIT Bombay on X, also shared a post on why there shouldn't be any designated place for eating. The post reads, "Prof. Sukhdeo Thorat for a talk last year, he clearly said that institutions should not devise policy for segregation of eating spaces. Now students are penalized with hefty fines for violating the "purity of vegetarian spaces."