During COVID-19, a very crucial topic came to light – mental health and its importance. With people cooped up in their houses, their deteriorating mental health was a big concern.
The demise of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput brought more attention to this otherwise ignored issue. Social media influencers and significant figures addressed this topic and educated people about the same.
This year, although quite apocalyptic, was also full of events that reflected hope and positivity. People came together (virtually), and there was increased empathy.
However, some individuals never seem to understand the concept of compassion and empathy. It has been proven when a professor from IIT Roorkee showed apathy to a student who just lost his father.
IIT-R Professor Calls The Student “Soft” And “Not At The Mental Level”
Professor Patit Paban Kundu from the Department of Chemical Engineering called the student “soft” and “not at the mental level” because he couldn’t attend classes due to his father’s demise.
The student, Vedant Singh, had an attendance of less than 50% already. The teacher could be heard saying in the video uploaded on YouTube that he would not give marks to anyone with less than 75% attendance as per rules.
Vedant’s classmates tried to explain his situation to Professor Kundu. They told him about the severe internet problems that he had been facing since the commencement of online classes.
The professor, however, countered their reason by citing the example of Mohammed Siraj – the cricketer playing for India in the Australia Tour despite losing his father on November 20th.
He could also be heard saying that “Death ho gaya hai to kya, ghar mein hai to class ni attend karna hai?”
It is quite apathetic and indifferent to the student. Attending classes, even if they are from home, is not easy when you lose someone dear to you.
Classmates Tried To Support Vedant, But Could Not Change Kundu’s Thinking
In the video, Vedant’s classmates are justifying the reason for his absence and making Kundu understand his loss. However, Kundu ignored it all and continued being apathetic. He can be heard saying that he would not give marks to Vedant since he had been taking classes for granted.
IIT-R’s IAPC (Institute Academic Programme Committee) decided that marks won’t be counted for the academic session 2020-21 in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kundu, however, said that IAPC cannot “dictate” to him how to teach.
The video took social media by storm in just a few minutes. Kundu was faced with the wrath of netizens, blaming teachers like him for kids’ suicides.
Kundu’s Response To His Earlier Statements
“On my personal account, I can tell that after the expiry of my father I had to go to South Korea and I had gone there. Maybe you are still not at that mental level, and you are soft. That’s the reason you have done all these wrong things which are creating a bad name for our institute,” Kundu wrote in a mail.
Professor Kundu has an excellent academic record, as can be seen on the institute’s website. In his mail, he wrote that he has worked hard all these years to ensure that no student fails the exam.
“Instead of doing all these (recording and making it viral through your friends), you could have simply mailed me after the class to apologize to Vedanta for not showing apathy (I have shown it; that is even evident when I told all students will be allowed to sit for the exam; the additional comment was that he has to pass the exam),” he wrote.
He requested the students to make another video stating that he has apologized to the students. He also requested them to mention that the students have no issue with him thereafter.
The student’s representative has been asked to look into the matter and submit a report.
This incident highlights how even the brightest minds can say things that may deteriorate the mental health of a person. Academic brilliancy does not equal emotional empathy, hence concluded.
Image Sources: Google Images
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