IIT Bombay Fines Students Rs 1.2 Lakh for Ramayana Play

IIT Bombay Fines Students Rs 1.2 Lakh for Ramayana Play

IIT Bombay Fines Students for ‘Derogatory’ Play on Ram and Sita

IIT Bombay has fined a student Rs 1.2 lakh for participating in a play called “Raahovan” during the institute’s Performing Arts Festival in March. The play, loosely based on the Ramayana, angered some students who felt it disrespected Hinduism and was derogatory towards Ram and Sita.

Seven other students were also penalized, though the details of their punishments are unclear. When asked about the actions taken, IIT Bombay’s spokesperson declined to comment.

On June 4, IIT Bombay issued a notice to the fined student, following a disciplinary committee meeting on May 8 to address complaints about the play. The committee recommended the fine and barred the student from receiving any gymkhana awards. The Rs 1.2 lakh fine is due by July 20, 2024, and failure to pay could result in further penalties.

The notice was shared on social media by ‘IIT B for Bharat,’ a campus group that supports traditional Indian values. The group had protested against the play, claiming it misused academic freedom to ridicule Ram, Sita, and Laxman.

The fined students chose not to comment, but their peers confirmed the fines. One peer mentioned that the students had hoped to resolve the issue through discussion, but the penalty notice was leaked online.

Another associate described the play as a feminist reinterpretation of the Ramayana, with different character names and storylines. They noted that neither the audience nor the judges objected during the performance.

Eight students involved in the play have been penalized, including some who are graduating in July. Graduating students received heavier fines while continuing students faced lighter fines and hostel suspensions.

The play was performed at IIT Bombay’s open-air theatre on March 31. On April 8, ‘IIT B for Bharat’ criticized the play on social media, calling it a mockery of Ram and the Ramayana and sharing video clips as evidence.

IIT Bombay’s disciplinary committee has previously fined students for code of conduct violations, but officials did not comment on how they decide the amount of fines.


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