IIT Madras professor resigns alleging caste discrimination

Vipin P. Veetil
Vipin P. Veetil

Vipin Pudiyath Veetil, an assistant professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M), has resigned from the institute alleging caste-based discrimination.

In an email that was widely circulated on social media platforms, Veetil wrote, “I am leaving IIT Madras for another institution. One of the primary reasons for my leaving the Institute is the caste discrimination I have faced at the HSS department since my joining in March 2019. The discrimination came from individuals in position of power irrespective of their claimed political affiliations and gender.” 

Veetil further wrote in the email that there were various instances of discrimination and that he would be pursuing appropriate actions to address the matter. He also suggested setting up a panel in the institute to study the experiences of Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) faculty members. The professor did not respond to our calls and messages.

On Friday, Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association (BAPSA), a student organisation in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), demanded a written apology from IIT-M and asked the institute to request Veetil to rejoin as assistant professor and also set up a committee to investigate his allegations and take swift action on the matter. BAPSA  demanded the establishment of an anti-discrmination cell to address the issues of discrimination faced by students and faculty members.

This is not the first case of discrimination at IIT-M. In 2019, Fathima Latheef, a student from humanities department at IIT-M died by suicide; her family claimed she was subjected to religious discrimination by the faculty members.

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