TISS Students Plan Online Protest Against Suspension Of Scholar For 'Anti-National' Activities

TISS Students Plan Online Protest Against Suspension Of Scholar For 'Anti-National' Activities

Ramadas Sivanadan, a student from a Dalit community in Thrissur, Kerala, had been served a 'show cause ' notice last month for participating in the protests in New Delhi in January. On April 18, the institute informed him that he had been suspended for two years and also barred from entering the institute's campuses across India.

Manoj RamakrishnanUpdated: Saturday, April 20, 2024, 07:20 AM IST
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TISS CAMPUS | tiss.edu

Students at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) are planning an online protest after a PhD student was suspended earlier this week for 'anti-national activities. Ramadas Sivanadan, a student from a Dalit community in Thrissur, Kerala, had been served a 'show cause ' notice last month for participating in the protests in New Delhi in January. On April 18, the institute informed him that he had been suspended for two years and also barred from entering the institute's campuses across India.

Ramadas, who is now in Kerala recovering from a motorbike accident, was not available for comment, having been advised not to make a public statement. A member of Progressive Students Forum (PFF), a student association at the institute, said that Ramadas had received a show-cause notice on March 7 for participating in the 'parliament march' in the national capital. "He replied to the notice immediately. For almost a month there was no communication from the institute. They have issued the suspension letter when the institute is closed for vacations.

The letter was strategically planned to be issued when there are no students on campus to protest," said the student who added that their protests will be done online.In its letter to Ramadas, the institute, a public-funded deemed-to-be university, said that his participation in the protests in New Delhi was against the institute's 'honour code' and 'code of conduct' that is binding on students. He has been accused of 'anti-national' activities and bringing a 'bad name' to the institute.

The January protests were organised by 'United Students of India', a group of student organisations, against the government's 'anti-student policies', including the National Education Policy 2020.Ramadas, who is enrolled at the institute's School of Development Studies, has been a part of student politics at the institute where he first joined for a postgraduate course.

He is a former General Secretary of PSF and currently a member of the  Students Federation of India.According to PSF,  the show cause notice from the institute's registrar implicated him for his participation in the January protests and also for putting up a social media post encouraging students to watch the documentary 'Ram ke Naam' by filmmaker Anand Patwardhan during the inauguration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya,In a statement, PSF accused the institute's administration of 'indirectly' trying to curb all dissent against the government.

'The documentary has been officially screened in TISS multiple times. The documentary is also available for public viewing on YouTube and has also been screened on Doordarshan. The current TISS administration, however, wants to censure voices even in the online space in what students want to share and talk about.'PSF also said that Ramadas had earlier been accused of organising lectures by 'controversial speakers' at the college. TISS had recently stopped guest lectures.

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