Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam.
Dalit woman research scholar in MG University, Kottayam, faces discrimination by the department heads. Deepa M Mohan from Kannur, pursuing her Ph.D in the International and Inter University Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in the university is being victimized by denying her access to the lab and other facilities and is being subjected to mental torture.
She complained about this to the MG University administration but no action was taken by them. And when she entered the lab without the professor’s prior permission she was locked inside the lab. The police set her free, when she complained to the Police Superintendent. Later she complained to both the Women’s Commission and Scheduled Castes and Tribes Commission.
Deepa joined her Ph.D after completing M.Phil in the same university. She complains that even after registering for Ph.D, she was denied the use of work materials. She also reported to ‘Madhyamam’, a Malayalam newspaper, that the Joint Director openly harassed her saying that she plagiarised her M.Phil thesis from someone, in front of all the students. Later it was it was found that the charge was baseless and that it was her own work. Even the unregistered scholars were given the permission to use their work materials while she was denied it.
On January 10th, when she worked with materials borrowed from her friends and with the permission of the Director of the Department, she was dismissed from the lab as per instructions given by the Deputy Director. When she returned from the washroom after cleaning her hands and legs, she found herself locked in the block. From there she was freed by the Gandhinagar police as per the instruction given to them by the S.P. Being a second Saturday, many of the students didn’t knew about the issue.
When the students enquired about the entry of police in the department, the department authorities answered that the police had come to the campus for making inquiries about a lost laptop. Deepa did not submit any written complaint as she wanted to complete her research. She informed this to her guide as well as the head of the department before she entered the lab again. But the authorities again stopped her from entering the lab asserting that she didn’t submitt her work report since 4th January, while other defaulters were there in the same lab. She was not provided with the working materials and hence became a defaulter.
Then she submitted a complaint to the Pro Vice Chancellor, Sheena Shukkur, and that complaint was handed over to the Vice Chancellor Babu, Sebastian. The order for enquiry came out. But even as of Monday, 23rd March, she was again denied access to the lab, and she was not even allowed to sign the course work register. Many of the research scholars quit their research due to this mental torture.
During the recent past, many research scholars complained about the department authorities.
Joint director Prof. Nadakumar Kalarikkal told Madhyamam daily that Deepa doesn’t have the permission from the department to enter the lab.
Report Courtesy: Madhyamam daily, Madhyamam.com
Translated by Greeshma G.
Greeshma G is an IMA Social Science student at University of Hyderabad.