Alleging Caste Discrimination, IIT-Madras Asst Professor Quits Job

Assistant Professor Vipin P Veetil has claimed that the discrimination came from individuals in position of power.

2 min read
Hindi Female

In a strongly worded email, an assistant professor of Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, has said that he is quitting his job in the institute owing to the caste discrimination that he had faced here.

Assistant Professor Vipin P Veetil from the department of Humanities and Social Sciences claimed that the discrimination came from individuals in position of power, irrespective of their claimed political affiliations and gender. The email was leaked to the media on Thursday, 1 July.

“One of the curious phenomena I have observed here is that the Bayesian prior among many is that caste discrimination is a rare occurrence. My own experience, and conservation with members of SC and OBC communities, suggests that the prior is far from true.”
Assistant Professor Vipin P Veetil's Email

'Multiple Specific Instances of Discrimination'

He asked IIT-M authorities to set up a committee with members of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (SC/ST) commission, OBC commission and psychologists to look into the experiences of SC and OBC faculty members of the institute.

“There were multiple specific instances of discrimination and I shall be pursuing appropriate action to address it,” the letter read.

Veetil also encouraged people who have faced discrimination to file complaints with the grievance committee at the institute and with the courts.

The Quint reached out to the assistant professor, but have not received a response.

However, the fact that the professor has quit the institute and sent the email was confirmed by a professor who works in the same department. The Head of the Department (HoD) of Humanities and Social Sciences refused to comment.


Demand to Set up SC,ST, OBC Cells

Assistant Professor Vipin P Veetil has claimed that the discrimination came from individuals in position of power.

Statement by IIT-M independent student group, ChintaBar

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ @Chintabar)

Meanwhile, IIT-M's independent student group, ChintaBar, has issued a statement asking the administration and authorities concerned to conduct an inquiry, in a time-bound manner, into Vipin’s resignation.

“We also urge the students, faculty and administration to come together to ideate on the reforms required to make our academic spaces more inclusive.”

“IITs have been in the news recently for caste discrimination against students and for the persistent violation of reservation norms in PhD admissions and faculty recruitment. ChintaBAR has been demanding the setting up of functioning SC, ST and OBC cells in the institute and for expanding the scope of the grievance redressal mechanism established at department level to address issues of discrimination, harassment etc. We have also been demanding proper implementation of reservation norms in admissions of research scholars and faculty recruitment as stipulated by Central Education Institutions Acts 2006 and 2019."

Earlier, similar complaints of discrimination were raised in IIT Madras. In November 2019, Fathima Latheef, a student of the institute had died by suicide and a professor at the Humanities and Sciences block was brought under scrutiny, for allegedly discriminating on the grounds of religion.

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