Monday, 16 May, 2022
HomeIndiaBhopal’s Makhanlal university expels 23 students protesting against ‘casteist’ teachers

Bhopal’s Makhanlal university expels 23 students protesting against ‘casteist’ teachers

University cites indiscipline and vandalism for the expulsion. Teachers in question say the decision isn’t right, allege RSS misleading students.

Text Size:

New Delhi: The Makhanlal Chaturvedi Rashtriya Patrakarita Vishwavidyalaya (MCU) in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, has expelled 23 students on the charges of indiscipline and vandalism. The students are also accused of letting miscreants participate in their demonstration.

The students had been protesting against alleged caste-based discrimination by two faculty members — Dilip Mandal and Mukesh Kumar.

The decision to expel them was taken by a 10-member disciplinary committee appointed by the journalism university. “The disciplinary committee had a meeting on 14 December, and keeping the rules in mind, recommended the expulsion of these students till the next hearing,” the university said.

While the protest began on 11 December, the students were arrested two days later when they were protesting outside the vice-chancellor’s office. They were handed expulsion notices Wednesday.

Vice-Chancellor Deepak Tiwari told ThePrint: “If the students express regret for what they have done, we will think of reinstating them.”

Also read: Indian democracy’s big contradiction – Dalits cherish Constitution, privileged want a rethink

Students’ allegations

Saurav Kumar, 21, one of the expelled students, alleged that the two teachers discriminate against pupils on the basis of caste.

“Their social media posts are full of negative caste-based remarks against particular castes. They try to know the caste of students on a personal basis as well,” Kumar said, adding they wanted the V-C to hear their grievances but were instead expelled.

Another expelled student, Vidhi Singh, who is pursuing a course in advertising and public relations, said: “How can a teacher discriminate on the basis of caste? We fought against discrimination but were met with expulsion.”

Political link?

An MCU student, who did not wish to be named, said the RSS’ student wing ABVP and the Shiv Sena were part of this protest. A member of the university administration concurred, calling it a political protest.

The expelled students, however, said only one or two of them are associated with the RSS or the ABVP, and that the protest was independent of politics.

Also read: I fought against Twitter blue tick because it creates an Apartheid in conversations

Teachers’ response

Responding to the development, Mandal told ThePrint: “The students were expelled because they were involved in violence. I am relieved that no student from my department has been expelled.

“I request that the expulsion should be rolled back on sympathetic grounds. These students have been the victims of an RSS conspiracy, and it’s not their fault.”

Mukesh Kumar concurred with Mandal. “The RSS had taken siege of the university for a very long time. Now, after the regime change (there has been a Congress government in Madhya Pradesh since December 2018), they are feeling helpless. They (RSS) have hatched a conspiracy against us and this is completely political.”

He added, “I don’t know the exact reason for expulsion, but expelling the students is not right.”

Mandal also said the allegations against him are wrong. He said he never writes against any particular caste but casteism and the caste system, adding not a single student from his department is protesting against him.

A group of students has also been protesting in favour of the two teachers on campus and supporting their freedom of expression.

(Disclosure: Prof. Dilip C. Mandal is a columnist with ThePrint)

Also read: We know the number of cows & pigs in India, but not those of OBCs & Brahmins


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular