IIT Madras teacher resigns citing caste discrimination


Vipin Puthiyedathveetil, an assistant professor at IIT Madras, has resigned from his post citing caste discrimination at the premier institute and posted his resignation letter on social media.

Vipin was in the faculty of Economics with the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.

Vipin Puthiyedathveeti (IANS photograph)

He sent the resignation letter by mail to the authorities. Vipin hails from Payyannnur in North Kerala and has been teaching at the IIT Madras since March 2019.

In the letter he posted on social media platforms, Vipin wrote that he had faced caste discrimination even in his department and that OBCs (Other Backward Class) and SC/ST (Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes) teachers are facing huge discrimination at the premier engineering institute.

Vipin wrote: “There were multiple instances of discrimination and I shall be pursuing appropriate actions to address the matter…. Individuals in position of power irrespective of their claimed political affiliation and gender were involved in discrimination.”

He encouraged people in the IIT to step up and raise complaints with the grievances committee at the institute and even with the courts.

In the resignation letter, he suggested that the institute sets up a committee to study the experience of the SC and OBC faculty. The letter also suggested that this committee should have members from the SC/ST commission, OBC Commission and psychologists.

People across the various spectrum, including writers, opinion makers, and students have commented on the shocking mail of the assistant professor.

Writer and poet Sabin Iqbal told IANS: “This is shocking. Action has to be taken in this and youths cutting across caste, creed, religion, and politics should be provided equal opportunity in all areas in this country and our constitution guarantees that. Then why people are discriminating against a bright young educated professor in a premier institution of this country.?A commission comprising OBC, SC/ST academics, and lawmakers must be set up and a proper study is conducted on this.”

Fathima Latheef, a student of Humanities at IIT Madras, had earlier committed suicide in her hostel room alleging that she was discriminated against by the college due to her religion.

In her suicide note, she had named a professor of IIT Madras. A Central Bureau of Investigation probe is on over her suicide.