My Open Letter to the Director General, IIMC
Mr KG Suresh
The Director General
Indian Institute of Mass Communication
JNU New Campus, New Delhi-67
Dated: December 25, 2016
Dear Mr. KG Suresh,
I, Narendra Singh Rao, so far, had been teaching in a full-time basis as Academic Associate at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, (IIMC), New Delhi, since August 2010. I am in receipt of the office order F.No.I/Consultancy/ 2012 dated 21stDecember, 2016 (mailed to me on the evening of 22nd December, 2016) “terminating my services with immediate effect without assigning any reason”.
I can well understand why you have decided to terminate my six-and-a-half years long continuous services in such an abject and callous manner at a time when I was officially on medical leave as I was suffering from acute headache and fluctuating blood pressure due to a month long continuous and brute harassment, and gross victimization thrust upon me by the illegally and-newly appointed Course Director of the department of Ad/PR, Ms. Surbhi Dahiya, about which I had filed a complaint with you via e-mail dated December 18, 2016. And, in turn, in order to protect the victimizer and harasser, Ms. Surbhi Dahiya, you have terminated my services without any reason. I could never imagine the institute I had been serving for so long with all honesty and integrity would be sacking me in such a crude and medieval manner, wherein, I, the complainant, have been sacked from my job undemocratically and illegally just because I dared to file a complaint against harassment and victimization.
Essentially, your decision of terminating my services in such a ruthless and illegal manner clearly reflects the spirit of vendetta which motivated you to ‘punish’ and victimize me as I had raised my voice against a number of atrocities being committed against vulnerable people in the campus, which include the recent illegal sacking of 25 Dalit safai karmacharis, constant victimization of a Dalit rape survivor, harassment of a Muslim student, who was forced to contemplate suicide, by the reactionary and brahmanical forces of IIMC nurtured and supported by you, the illegal appointment of Course Director of Ad/PR, Ms. Surbhi Dahiya (who does not even have basic qualification or experience in Ad/PR and has been rejected for the lectureship in the department as recently as 2013), pressure tactics used by your administration to force a female student to withdraw the case of cyber-sexual harassment, rampant attempts being made to saffronise the media education and ethos in the campus (wherein only journalists with Right-wing, Hindutva/RSS leanings are invited for special lectures), rampant contractualization and bureaucratization of academics, and many other such issues on which I took pro-democracy, secular and pro-academic positions which were not in sync with your personal and political agenda.
I am proud of the fact that I could live by my lifelong ideals of equality, liberalism, fraternity, secularism and social justice, and did not compromise even for the sake of saving my job. You can surely remove me from my job, but you shall never be able to remove the imprints of intellect I have left on the young minds through more than 500 classroom lectures and tutorials I have delivered during my teaching career at IIMC in the last six-and-a half years during which I was promoted three times for my teaching skills and academic contribution to the institute.
The past tells us about where the people who stand by their ideals of social justice, democratic, liberalism, and academic excellence go down in history. History never forgets and forgives people like you who undemocratically and illegally snatch away jobs from dissenting voices in order to fulfill their petty personal and political agenda. The world is full of dissenting voices which speak against all kinds of injustices, atrocities and oppressions, come what may. You can never scare them by snatching away their jobs. For me, this ‘punishment’ given by you is a badge of honour which I will wear with pride all my life. It reassures my faith in myself that I am a man of integrity who believed in academic excellence, and who refused to compromise in the face of direct assaults by communal-fascist forces and the tyranny of crass mediocrity.
If you are terminating my services for my unshakable and non-negotiable faith in humanistic ideals and academic freedom, I, without any qualms, accept your decision; and, thereby, pledge to fight back with all vigour and legal means.
Narendra Singh Rao
IIMC, New Delhi
December 25, 2016