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IIT-Bombay slaps Rs 1.2 lakh fine on students for play 'mocking' Lord Ram, Sita

IIT-Bombay, one of the most renowned educational institutions in India, has reportedly slapped a fine of Rs 1.2 lakh on a student who participated in a play called 'Raahovan', loosely based on the epic 'Ramayana'.
Last Updated : 20 June 2024, 07:44 IST

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Mumbai: A play mocking Ramayan played by students of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-Bombay) at Powai here has snowballed into a major issue even as the management has imposed a heavy fine. 

The play titled ‘Raahovan’ mocked Hindu culture and hurt religious sentiments. 

As part of IIT-Bombay’s Performing Arts Festival (PAF), the play was conducted on 31 March, 2024. Clips of videos of the play have gone viral on social media platforms. 

The Disciplinary Action Committee (DAC) met on 8 May, 2024. However, the penalty action followed on 4 June, 2024.

The students, against whom action is being taken, have been asked to pay the fine amount by 30 June, 2024.

While some students were asked to pay a fine of Rs 1.2 lakh each and some others have been asked to pay Rs 40,000 at the office of Dean of Students’ Affairs. 

These students have also been barred from any recognition from any of the gymkhana awards.

A group of volunteers, who run X handle @IITBforBharat have welcomed the action. 

“We welcome disciplinary action taken by the IIT-Bombay administration against those involved in the play 'Raahovan,' which depicted the Ramayana in a derogatory manner. These students abused their academic freedom to mock Lord Ram, Mata Sita, and Lord Laxman,” it said.
The group also urged the administration to establish guidelines to ensure that no religion is ridiculed under the guise of freedom of expression on the campus in any form. 

It also sought an apology from the IIT-Bombay administration and community.

Supreme Court lawyer Shashank Shekhar Jha asked the Mumbai Police to take action.  "Raahovan mocked Shri Ram, Devi Sita and Shri Lakshman. Not acceptable. Action must be taken,” he said and drew the attention of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio.

The IIT-Bombay management could not be contacted. 

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Published 20 June 2024, 07:44 IST

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