Mumbai: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay on Tuesday cancelled a lecture on Israel-Palestine conflict by writer and academician Achin Vanaik following social media posts describing him as ‘Hamas sympathiser’.
The lecture, titled ‘Israel-Palestine: The Historical Context’, was organised by the institute’s Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). A mail was sent to the students announcing cancellation of the event, which was slated to be held in the evening, due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.
Nuclear disarmament and international law
Vanaik is a former professor of international relations at the University of Delhi and an associate at the Netherlands-based Transnational Institute. An author of multiple books, he has been advocating for nuclear disarmament and working to make Israel comply with the international law.
While the organisers didn’t provide a specific reason for the eleventh-hour cancellation of the lecture, which was already postponed by a day, the presence of Vanaik had drawn the scorn of some social media users.
“Every university has turned into left-marxist producer. If not sanitised today, we can’t complain about what they do tomorrow after coming out of colleges,” read a post on X (formely Twitter).
A week earler the author had spoken at the OP Jindal Global University in Haryana. The clips from the lecture, which were circulated on the social media, had drawn criticism from some quarters.
IIT Bombay hasn’t responded to FPJ’s request for a comment on the issue.