An associate professor at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in Delhi, Amit Sengupta, resigned on Friday, alleging interference from members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in the functioning of the institute. Sengupta, a former journalist, said he resigned after he was transferred to Dhenakal in Odisha. He added that the transfer was a "political decision" by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which funds the IIMC.
Sengupta said the transfer stemmed from his remarks on the controversy surrounding the Jawaharlal Nehru University. “I think it is an attack on independent thinking, and RSS influence there is clear,” he said. However, a ministry official refuted the allegation, saying the decision to transfer Sengupta was not made on any specific ground. “It is an executive council decision that he needs to adhere to,” said Anurag Mishra, a ministry official. He added that Sengupta was not being targeted.
This comes after the I&B Ministry ordered an investigation into complaints of casteism by students at the Delhi institute. Around 17 students wrote to IIMC authorities saying a group of their peers had harassed them and run an online campaign with anti-Dalit and anti-tribal caste posts. They said they did not want “punitive action” against them, but sought a public apology and action against the person spreading these messages.
IIMC was in news last year as well, following reports of factions within the faculty and students complaining about the lax attitude of those in charge of conducting the courses professionally. A faculty member of the English Journalism department had said, “IIMC is in a total mess. The institution is being destroyed by these people.”