IIT Bombay cancels lecture on Israel-Palestine conflict | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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IIT Bombay cancels lecture on Israel-Palestine conflict

Nov 08, 2023 09:38 AM IST

Vanaik, a retired professor of international relations and former head of department of political science at the University of Delhi, is known for his activism and radical views. His stance on the Israel-Palestine issue recently drew criticism, particularly after a talk he delivered at the O P Jindal University in Sonipat, Haryana, on November 1 titled ‘The History and Politics of the Palestinian Present’

Mumbai: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has cancelled a scheduled lecture titled ‘Israel-Palestine: The Historical Context’ by Professor Achin Vanaik. The decision comes in the wake of a growing controversy surrounding the professor’s alleged pro-Hamas and pro-Palestine stance.

Professor Achin Vanaik. (HT Photo)
Professor Achin Vanaik. (HT Photo)

The lecture, which was originally postponed and rescheduled for November 7, has now been officially cancelled by the institute’s authorities. The cancellation was communicated to students by a faculty member of the department of humanities and social sciences through an email, a screenshot of which went viral on social media.

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In the email, the professor stated, ‘Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to cancel Professor Vanaik’s lecture. Any inconvenience caused is regretted.’ A student from IIT Bombay confirmed that they had received the email.

Vanaik, a retired professor of international relations and former head of department of political science at the University of Delhi, is known for his activism and radical views. His stance on the Israel-Palestine issue recently drew criticism, particularly after a talk he delivered at the O P Jindal University in Sonipat, Haryana, on November 1 titled ‘The History and Politics of the Palestinian Present’.

“The cancellation of his lecture at IIT Bombay reflects the ongoing debates and controversies surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict and the viewpoints of various individuals involved,” said a former IIT professor.

IIT Bombay refused to comment on this event, while an email to Vanaik yielded no response.

In October, in a different scenario, IIT Bombay cancelled a lecture titled ‘Chanting Sanskrit shlokas and mantras to heal stress’. After the lecture was announced, a student’s collective from IIT-B raised objections, following which the institute cancelled the lecture, stating that the earlier notice had been sent out without prior approval. In another instance, in December 2022, the IIT-B administration cancelled a two-day conference organised to discuss the ‘Cultures of the Political Left in Modern India’ without giving any specific reason.

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