After receiving flak for sperating vegetarians' and non-vegetarians' entry into the Himalaya mess, IIT Madras mess has at last removed the offending posters.
The leading university found itself in the news for the wrong reasons when photos of their mess posters segregating vegetarians and non-vegetarians' entry and wash basins came up on social media.
The situation came to light when members of the Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (APSC) posted images on Facebook of the posters indication separate entry for vegetarian and non-vegetarian students as well as different wash basins.
"Upper-caste households in India would usually have two entrances — one for the upper castes and the other one at the back for the 'impure' lower castes. A mess in IIT Madras now has the same system. This mess has separate entrances for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Not just that, separate wash basins and separate utensils as well. What started as a demand for 'pure' vegetarian mess has become full-fledged untouchability. IIT Madras is trying to become a world-class institute, but the culture inside is still regressive in many aspects," APSC had written in the Facebook post.
The catering committee of IIT Madras acknowledged the presence of the posters at entryways and washbasins and they said in a statement that the mess staff has been instructed to remove them.
They also added that an inquiry will be launched and the necessary action will be taken.
"It has been brought to attention that a certain poster detailing an area of wash basin to be earmarked for vegetarian students, was found in RRC mess, Himalaya. The caterer has been instructed to remove the poster immediately upon its discovery by the Mess Monitoring Committee (MMC). The same had been undertaken by the caterer in their own volition and was not a directive given by the Mess Monitoring Committee (MMC). In due course of time, action will be taken on the caterer after an inquiry on the incident," a statement issued by Nihal K, Hostel Affairs Secretary at IIT Madras read.
The statement further said, "It has also been noted that concerns have been raised regarding two entrances to the mess. The entrances have been provided that way so as to make the passage to each counter easier, and not to restrict passage from one to another, or differentiate students in any capacity. The posters have been removed from the facility as soon as the error was pointed out. Apologies for any inconveniences caused."