We, the undersigned students, faculty and others from IIT Kharagpur are shocked with the treatment that the police forces have meted out to our ex-colleague, Prof. Anand Teltumbde and other intellectuals. His residence in Goa, where he is working as a Senior Professor and Chair, Big Data Analytics at Goa Institute of Management (GIM), was intruded by the police forces without permission in his absence. This police action was part of the large scale raids and arrests of eminent scholars, intellectuals and lawyers across the country on Tuesday.
As described by Prof. Teltumbde, “My wife, after reaching Goa spoke with security and got the horrific description of the entire process. In the morning hours, a police van accompanied by two police vehicles gate crashed into the campus. They took away all the cell phones of security personnel and disconnected landlines. They enquired about me and picked up one security person from the main gate for showing the house. At the second gate, they repeated the same, taking away all cell phones and disconnecting the phone line, and came over to our house. They threatened the security guard to get the keys. He brought the duplicate keys and the process of opening the house took place as described above. The entire process is conducted as though I was a dreaded terrorist or a criminal. The police could have enquired with me whatever they wanted to, either by sending a police official or calling me to the Police Station. But the entire intention is to create an atmosphere of terror and project that I had already done some dreaded crime…”
Prof. Teltumbde has been known as a renowned management professional and a scholar. He graduated as a Mechanical Engineer from VNIT Nagpur and pursued a degree in Management from IIM Ahmedabad. He did his doctorate in Cybernetics and has held responsible positions in the corporate sector such as Executive Director and Managing Director of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. and CEO of Petronet India Ltd. Even while being in the corporate sector, unusually, he published over 20 research papers in prestigious journals. Later, he was invited to serve as a Professor in IIT Kharagpur, where he taught business management courses for more than five years before joining GIM. Currently, he heads the Big Data Analytics program of GIM and has launched a post-graduation course this year, the first of its kind in the country.
With all his engagements in his professional life, he always had the intention to contribute back to the society. He has made his intellectual contribution toward studying various social issues and has published hundreds of articles along with a regular column, “”Margin Speak”” in the prestigious Economic and Political Weekly (EPW). He has published 26 books which have been well received and widely read in India and abroad by prestigious publishing houses such as Zed books, Routledge, and Penguin RandomHouse. Moreover, he delivered hundreds of lectures across India and abroad, carrying out the role of a public intellectual for the past three decades. Prof. Anand has been a winner of several laurels, awards and honorary doctorates from different universities.
As an outstanding scholar, management professional and writer, he has been a sought-after person in the country and has attracted easy attention towards any opinion he makes. We think, that his critical analysis of various social issues has brought him into the list of the persons who are an eyesore to the current ruling dispensation.
As Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”, with all his intellectual contributions, Prof. Teltumbde has lived his life as an honest truthseeker and has questioned any injustice throughout his life. Whatever criticisms he made, and whatever questions he placed, he has made it with utmost scholastic discipline. Moreover, as in insinuation of his connection with Bhima-Koregaon or Elgar Parishad, he has been a critique of the episode and his criticism has been published in The Wire [https://thewire.in/caste/myth-bhima-koregaon-reinforces-identities-seeks-transcend].
Keeping all his activities and credentials in mind, it is quite unfortunate that a scholar like him has had to bear such a treatment from the State without any iota of wrongdoing. We condemn this treatment of him and other intellectuals, who have lived a life significantly contributing towards the society, have been made to meet. We think that this, if not amended imminently, will seriously affect the democratic ethos of our country.
LIST OF ALL SIGNATORIES