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India: Civil Society requests for reversal of censure

Author: Human Rights and Business Network India , Published on: 15 January 2019

"Civil Society requests for reversal of censure", 11 January 2019

The Human Rights and Business Network is a coalition of academics, civil society activists, journalists, and indigenous groups created to defend the human rights of precarious communities in India. Due to the nature of its work, the HRBN is acutely aware of the rapidly decreasing spaces to discuss and debate development trajectories premised on the denial of human rights of the weaker and voiceless sections in India. Given the already bleak context, we are alarmed at the recent actions taken by the administration of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) to censure Deepak Malghan, an Associate Professor in the institute. 

The trigger for IIMB’s actions is ostensibly Dr. Malghan’s suggestion in an email that students hold Hindustan Unilever to account for the irreversible damages caused by its factory to the ecology of Kodaikanal and the denial of the rights of communities to a healthy life. For its part, IIMB justifies these actions as a defense of the interests of its “stakeholders”, that presumably includes Hindustan Unilever...

...IIMB’s decision to censure Dr. Malghan is a shocking display of submission to corporate interests. This meekness is a symptom of an affliction by a malaise known to infect many business schools– the substitution of “higher aims”, in this case academic freedom and defending the weak, with an eagerness to become “hired hands” in the service of corporations...

...We request the Board of Governors at IIMB to reverse the decision to censure Dr. Malghan and thereby reiterate the protections of academic freedom at IIMB...

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Related companies: Hindustan Unilever Unilever