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Sanskrit verse in IIM Ahmedabad logo could go missing, faculty oppose the suspected move, term it ‘assault on identity’

In the letter, a copy of which is with OpIndia, the faculty members say that it is a surprise that they were not informed or involved in logo change process. As per reports, IIMA director Errol D'Souza has refused to comment to media queries regarding removal of Sanskrit verse and change in logos.

About 45 professors at the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) have written to the Board of Governors opposing the change in logo. IIMA is planning to replace its existing logo of ‘Tree of life’ inspired from the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque jaali in Ahmedabad and the Sanskrit verse ‘Vidya Viniyogat Vikasa’ (development through distribution of knowledge) with two new logos. As per reports, IIMA director Errol D’Souza has refused to comment to media queries regarding removal of Sanskrit verse and change in logos.

In the letter, a copy of which is with OpIndia, the faculty members say that it is a surprise that they were not informed or involved in logo change process. The faculties raised concern that the new logo does not cognise IIMA heritage, core purpose and core objective. “Furthermore, two logos are being proposed – one which carries the Sanskrit motto and other does not. We have been told that one is for international consumption and the other for domestic purpose. The purpose of this decision defies logic,” the professors wrote in the letter.

The professors said that the logo – the jaali and the Sanskrit verse – defines them and their Indian ethos. “For us, it is a symbol of our Indianness, our connect with ‘vidya’, our link to the institute. It is our commitment to ‘vikas’ of the country, industry society, students and management discipline. It is our philosophy and mission statement. Any change in the same, either in artistic rendition or change in verse, is an assault on our identity,” the professors wrote.

Multiple logos erode brand value, says ex-IIMA director Bakul Dholakia

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Bakul Dholakia, former director of IIMA said that such a decision is fundamental violation of institute norms, cultures and practices. He said that it is surprising that the board even considered the proposal that did not go from the academic council. He said that there seems to be erosion of decades old culture of institute and that this calls for government intervention.

The move is being opposed as it is seen as one of the various step a handful of faculty members have been taking without proper consultations. Sources tell OpIndia that there have been other appointments and decisions too taken by this particular group that has not gone well with others.

“MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) too had changed its logo to appear ‘modern’ and technically there is nothing wrong if a logo is changed. But proper consultation should have taken place. If the news of logos being registered clandestinely without the knowledge of other stakeholders is true, this makes the motive behind the move suspicious,” an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad told OpIndia.

“And yes, Sanskrit should be there. It’s there in virtually every educational institute’s logo,” he added, “If Sanskrit is dropped by one of the leading educational institutes of India, it can have dominoes effect where other institutes could do the same. Many of us Indians already don’t value our heritage and this step could only add to that where we will end up erasing a part of our past while trying to appear modern,” he said.

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Nirwa Mehta
Nirwa Mehtahttps://medium.com/@nirwamehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

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