Move Over JNU, IIMC Under Scanner Now?

The country’s premier journalism institute which shares land next to JNU could not remain aloof from the politics and its senior faculty member Amit Sengupta on Thursday resigned when he was transferred to its Dhenkanal campus in Odisha, citing harassment though I&B Ministry denied it.

Sengupta, an Associate Professor in English Journalism, alleged conspiracy against him for extending support to the protests over Dalit student Rohith Vemula’s suicide and JNU and FTII issues."I have been targeted because I supported the solidarity protest for Rohith Vemula in the campus, organised independently by students of IIMC in which other faculty members too participated…I have been targeted also because I supported the JNU and FTII students," Sengupta said in his resignation letter.

Refusing the allegations, a senior Information and Broadcasting Ministry official told media that certain acts of Sengupta suggesting politicisation of campus were not acceptable and he is only transferred due to lack of faculty in IIMC (Indian Institute of Mass communications) Dhenkanal campus.

Sengupta defended that his views posted in social media were his personal and it was his "constitutional right". "I am proud of standing up for Rohith Vemula and will continue to do so in the days to come. This is my constitutional right. I think grave injustice has been done to him and the students of Hyderabad Central University. I will always stand and fight for Dalit rights. I think both the struggles (JNU and FTII) are glorious and the country will enrich itself with the great leap of imagination and the brilliant content of the peaceful, democratic debate the students and faculty of these great institutions have generated," Sengupta, a former journalist said.

"In IIMC, I have perhaps taken the maximum number of lectures/workshops, like many of my learned faculty members. I have taught my students that they will never do journalism which professes xenophobia, casteism, sexism, racism and communalism. That they should be objective and impartial. Also, that they should have open-ended, non-dogmatic and independent minds and stand for truth and public interest, come what may. I presume I am paying a price for that," said Sengupta, who was also a Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Students Union president in late 1989-90.

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