Multiple videos of abusive behaviour of a professor of the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur have surfaced on social media, posted by a students' group from IIT-Bombay. The institute's authorities have taken note of the issue and promised action, sources have told NDTV.
In one of the videos, the teacher is heard verbally abusing her students during an online class. She is heard repeatedly using expletives and openly threatening to fail them.
The professor is even heard challenging them to complain to two Union ministries - the Ministry of Women and Child Care or the Ministry of SC/ST/Minorities, and asserted that nothing will make her change her decision.
The accompanying post said Associate Professor Seema Singh of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences was taking the preparatory course in English for SC/ST candidates and those with physical challenges.
In another video, she is heard refusing a student's request to be excused from exams. The student had requested exemption on account of her grandfather's death. In response, the professor is heard questioning how can it affect a student.
Calling the request "very shocking", she is heard saying, "I am a Hindu... I know there are some customs to be done but I also know that in these Covid times, there is a restriction on all these religious rituals..."
"This shows complete disregard to the student's emotion and claims to be the apex authority of the course," the students' post read.
In a third video, she is heard exhorting students to say "Bharat Mata ki Jai".
Screaming expletives at the students, she is heard saying, "This is the minimum you can do for your country".
"Please switch off this background sound and lend me your ears. Listen to me. If you do not get out of the class, I have 20 marks for you, I will give zero to all 128. Do you want that?" she is heard saying.
Sources said Tamal Nath, the registrar of IIT-Kharagpur has said the institute doesn't support such behavior and action will be taken.
The director has called a meeting with the students and the faculty has been referred to a review committee, the sources said.
The students who initially posted the video on Instagram, have made a series of demands which include immediate termination of the professor, filing of a police case against her under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act and setting up of a permanent SC, ST, and OBC cell at IIT-Kharagpur and all other IITs.
"This cell should act as a anti-caste discrimination cell, take strict actions against casual and structural casteism and work towards sensitising the campus about casual and structural forms of discriminations," the students group said in their post.