Interestingly, the party is avoiding a direct conflict with ministry of human resource and development (MHRD) and rather blames IIT, Madras for the whole issue.

Uttam Khobragade
File Photo

While Congress and other opposition parties have shouted themselves hoarse on the decision of IIT, Madras banning a student group — Ambedkar Periyar Student Circle — for allegedly spreading hatred against the prime minister and his government, Republican Party of India (A), an ally of the BJP, has now voiced its concern over the issue.RPI (A), an offshoot of RPI established by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, feels that the ban on the students’ body is an “infringement” of the “freedom of speech and expression” — a fundamental right given to every Indian citizen by the Constitution. To protest against the IIT-M move, the party has organised a press conference in Mumbai on Monday, said Mayur Borkar, party leader and public relations officer.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Ramdas Athawale, chief of RPI (A), could not be reached for comments, party leader Uttam Khobragade said, “Is expressing one’s opinion illegal in India? Freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right every Indian citizen is entitled to. Does IIT, Madras officials not know about this? Criticism is part of democracy.Derecognition of the students’ body for this reason is condemnable. Besides, Ambedkar Periyar Student Circle was propagating Ambedkar’s thoughts and raising voices against discrimination of Dalits.Interestingly, the party is avoiding a direct conflict with ministry of human resource and development (MHRD) and rather blames IIT, Madras for the whole issue. The MHRD had earlier sought to wash off its hands from the issue saying that they received an anonymous complaint against the students’ group and forwarded it to the institute.”That’s the beauty of the whole issue. The MHRD might have forwarded a letter, but was it IIT-M’s prerogative to take action on it? As a bureaucrat, I also used to forward complaints to various agencies. That didn’t mean that I demanded any action from them,” said Khobragade.

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RPI raises concern over ban on students’ group