Encourage tolerance


An Open Letter to the IIT-Madras for banning students group on complaint of slamming Modi

Dear Director,
I am happy, though belatedly, that good sense dawned on you, and you did retrace the step of derecognising the APSC. Yet, something worries me. Is it a tactical move? Or is it a true realisation that some mistake had been done and it has to be undone? How could you opt for that undemocratic action in the first place? Was it the alleged pressure from above, or your own internal convictions, that made you act the way you did? If it was pressure from above, you should have opposed it tooth and nail, for the fragrance of the IIT is found in the contestation of ideas.

The Arts stream was introduced in the IITs to promote the clash of ideas and to make the students sensitive to the world. If your outlook of life does not tolerate any idea that is propagated by the APSC on campus, you are in the wrong place. As a matter of fact, you should be on the front-line of promoting the tussle of ideas so that the inherently strong ones survive and inspire. Similarly, the weak ones, rather the outdated ones, yield place to the relevant.

You should be a role model for the young in many ways: How to resist the arbitrary exercise of power by the authorities, how to welcome an unpleasant idea in a true democratic manner, how to tolerate what is contrary to one's core belief system.

Nowadays, the IITs, too, are becoming places of petty thinking. It should be avoided by all means. Necessary pressure should be mounted from every quarter to ensure that India’s jewels of learning do not become communal dens.

Yalamudi K., Telangana

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