Student and Activist
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on September 10, 2019 September regarding the cancellation of admission of a student Human Rights Defender, Mr. Kiruba Mohan, in University of Madras for his alleged being involvement in raising social issues.Mr. Mohan is the former Member of Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle at University of Madras where he had studied Post Graduation in Media and had been an active voice highlighting lack of basic amenities in the campus, while also organising and participating in various protests within the campus focussed on social issues.
Mr. Mohan had enrolled in M.A. (Buddhism) course at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Madras in July 2019, for which he had been provided a provisional admission dated July 31, 2019. After submitting necessary documents to confirm his admission, he began attending classes but was suddenly informed of a cancellation to his admission by Prof. Venkatachalapathy on August 21, 2019 via a call, reportedly owing to pressure from the governor as well as Vice-Chancellor’s office. The Prof. mentioned to the Vice Chancellor there was no official reason to cancel his admission but noted to Mr. Mohan that his participation in the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle caused the pressure for cancellation.
It is pertinent to note that Mr. Mohan’s active protest in instances such as against controversial statements of Mr. Tarun Vijay, Member of Parliament regarding people of Tamil Nadu and during the incident of attack on Head of Department of Vaishnavite Studies by members of Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad attracted the attention of the Vice Chancellor of University of Madras Mr. P. Duraisamy, who stated to the media “He had completely violated the admission guidelines. Last year and the year before, he created a lot of protests. The candidate had graduated from Anna University in engineering and then done a PG in journalism. He has not met the conditions of the admission guidelines.”
According to the rules and practices at University of Madras, eligibility certificates are needed only for students who have completed their degree in from other universities. As previously a University of Madras student, Mr. Mohan had also been informed by the Head of the Department that he wouldn’t require an additional certificate. However, the Vice Chancellor called for Mr. Mohan’s admission to be cancelled as he asserted that Mr. Mohan had not submitted the eligibility certificate. It is also reported that two other students who have enrolled in the same course as Mr. Mohan had not submitted their eligibility certificates and still continued their course, whereas Mr. Mohan had been singled out and has been denied his admission.