The prestigious Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) has taken its censorship of student activities onto a new level: it has suspended and debarred student leader Ramadas Prini Sivanandan for participating in protests against the BJP’s policies!

Ramadas, a Dalit PhD scholar and first-generation learner, is a member of the central executive committee of Student Federation of India (SFI), the umbrella body of the PSF. A number of student associations across India have condemned the suspension and demanded it be revoked. (Scroll down to read the press note of the United Students of India).

TISS has been at loggerheads with students for years now, over curbs on campus activities and denial/withdrawal of permission for speakers for student programmes. On March 13 this year, the TISS administration issued directives to the students body laying down guidelines governing student activities and approvals for student events, which the Students’ Union of TISS termed restrictive and amounting to infantalising of students.

Press Release:


The UNITED STUDENTS OF INDIA strongly condemn the suspension and debarring from entering campus for 2 years, of Ramadas Prini Sivanandan, a Dalit PhD scholar and leader of the Progressive Students’ Forum (PSF), by the Tata India-tute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai, citing violation of ‘national interest’. This suspension follows a show cause notice issued to him after his participation in the Parliament March in New Delhi in January 2024, organized under the banner of the United Students of India. The charges leading to his suspension also include encouraging others to watch “Ram Ke Naam,” a national award-winning documentary. Such a pseudo-nationalistic evaluation of students by the TISS administration can only be viewed as an attempt to crush the voices of dissent against the BJP-Sangh Parivar.

As a first-generation learner, Ramadas has consistently and unequivocally defended student rights in campus. He has worked hard to build joint platforms and alliances among all student organizations. He represents the ‘United Students of India’, the joint platform comprising of 16 major student organizations across the country. The targeting of students by the TISS administration appears to be nothing more than an attempt to appease the ruling BJP. Victimizing a student from Dalit background also aligns with the BJP’s broader project to exclude students from marginalized communities from higher education. Such actions undoubtedly tarnish the independent academic credibility of the institute.

We stand in solidarity with Ramadas, as well as other progressive students at TISS, in their fight against this unjust action. We remind the TISS administration that their efforts to silence students will ultimately fail, and we demand the immediate withdrawal of the suspension. We also urge all other like-minded student organisations and the democratic section of the country to come forward to resist this attack on democracy.

Published by United Students of India

Prasenjit (AISA)
Dinesh Seerangaraj (AISF)
Amit Singh (AISB)
Priyanka Bharti (CJRD)
Anurag Nigam (CYSS)
Prince Ennares Periyar (Dravidian Students Federation)
CVMP Ezhilarasan (DMK Student wing)
Anagha Pradeep (DSF)
Nitish Gaur (NSUI)
Lagan Mangla (PSF)
Nowfal Md. Saifulla (PSU)
Dr. Imran (Samajwadi Chhatrasabha) Devabrata Saikia (Satro Mukti Sangam Samiti)
Aravind B (Students’ Federation of Dravidians)
Mayukh Biswas (SFI)
Sujit Tripura (TSU)

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